Farlough takes council reins for 2001

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2001


EDGARD – The first St. John the Baptist Parish Council meeting of 2001 brought in a new chairman, Cleveland Farlough, to replace Melissa Faucheux. Faucheux no longer wished to serve in the capacity, and after thanking the council for her time as chairwoman Faucheux stepped down and allowed Farlough to take over the meeting. The council is still taking steps to resolve a property violation on Nutmeg Street in LaPlace. One property owner has installed a fence that is blocking another resident’s entrance to her garage. Councilman Dale Wolfe asked for a speedy resolution to the problem. “We aren’t taking any position on it, other than pacifying the resident. If we don’t come down to the nitty gritty, this will just be on the next agenda. We are allowing this man to step on human beings,” he said. Councilmembers agreed the resident in violation should be allowed a week or two to remedy the situation. They are sending him a letter asking that he open up that section of the fence, allowing his neighbor access to her garage. He is being asked to restore her driveway to its original state and will be give a time frame to solve the problem, then he will receive penalties if he refuses. Discussions were also made concerning the state of St. John Parish’s website. Faucheux said the website is in desperate need of an update, and she said she wants to add the e-mail addresses of council members so that their constituents will have easy access to them. She also hopes to add meeting agendas to the site. It is the intent of the parish to expand the website soon. Clerk of Court Eliana DeFrancesch presented a slide show at the meeting, showing the improvements that have been made and that will soon be made to the clerk’s office. Inmates will be painting a mural on the wall in the office. They will also be painting the walls of other departments. DeFrancesch hopes that people in the parish will visit to see the mural after it is completed. Other improvements include capabilities to scan in real estate transactions, making them available the next day. A computer program has made it possible for jurors to be paid the same day that they serve, whereas before they had to wait months to receive compensation. Broken desks have been replaced with newer ones. Three extra phone lines have been added to the office, and DeFrancesch hopes to soon have an operator to transfer calls, giving people more access to the individuals they need to contact. Carpenters are working on a preliminary draft for an upstairs storage area. Also, a computer system is being set up to link the clerk’s office with the district attorney’s and assessor’s office. Criminal records will be scanned and housed on a disk, she said. St. John Parish plans to continue working on improving the parish as it moves forward into 2001, she said. The meeting also brought in a new director of public safety and civil defense, Paul Oncale, who is replacing Bertram Madere. Madere will retire Jan. 31, then Oncale will over on Feb. 1.