Monica begins with a misstep

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Leonard Gray

It’s much too soon to declare that St. John Parish President Nickie Monica’s honeymoon with the parish council ended almost before it began, as the decision to reject Monica’s public works director nominee was by a 5-4 vote. That’s hardly a solid wall of stone-faced opposition.

The circumstance of Monica removing the rest of his nominees from consideration leaves the parish in the hands of Monica and the paid, classified employees.

It’s hardly a disaster, since voters apparently felt enough of Monica’s prior term to return him to office a second time; and the parish president affirms he feels up to the challenge of dealing with more of the hands-on, day-to-day problems normally absorbed by his department heads.

At this point, the parish council chairman, Joel McTopy, has the option of calling a special meeting to take up this issue. Likewise, a majority group of the council could also call for a special meeting for the same purpose. Unless that occurs, the matter will likely be on the council’s Jan. 27 regular meeting agenda.

Perhaps the matter of selecting department heads was a bit too much to take up on the first day for the parish council. Perhaps the parish president might have proceeded with the rest of his nominees and likely gotten approval of most of them. This would have reduced his own burden in the coming days.

It was, however, an inauspicious day for Monica to launch his second term of office. We can only hope the rest of this term will proceed a little more smoothly and necessary progress in the public good accomplished.

We can hope.