McTopy honored by Council

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — The St. John Parish Council passed an ordinance on Tuesday night to name the council meeting chambers in the Percy D. Hebert building The Joel S. McTopy Chambers, honoring the late councilman Joel McTopy.

After the ordinance was announced Joel’s eldest daughter Sabrina spoke about her father and gave thanks to the council and the parish for everything they did for her father.

After a few comments, tears started to flow as each council member took the time to say why Joel was such a great councilman, and what they will always remember about him.

One recurring statement made by the council member’s was, &#8220after I was elected, he called me and told me if I ever needed anything, just call or come by.”

Councilwoman Jaclyn Hotard spoke of how Joel always had time for her no matter what.

&#8220I remember one time I called him and he said he was giving blood,” she said. &#8220I told him that I would just call him back since he was busy, but he insisted that it was OK, and he talked to me right then. He was never too busy, and it was never a bad time to talk to him.”

Councilman Steve Lee spoke of Joel’s wealth of knowledge and how he respected him as a person and a councilman.

Joel’s wife, councilwoman Sherry McTopy, decided to be one of the last to speak. She fought through the tears that kept coming down her face and she delivered a huge thank you to everyone on behalf of her husband.

&#8220This is a bittersweet moment for me,” she said. &#8220It’s sweet, because he lived and breathed St. John Parish and the council. Now, this is being named after him. It is bitter, because he is not here to see it.”

At the end of her speech, the crowd gave a standing ovation, not only for her speech, but for a well-respected councilman and friend to many.