Parish election heating up

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 5, 2007

New business man enters race for parish president as Joey Scontrino bows out


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – As quickly as one high-profile businessman has elected not to run for parish president in St. John Parish for the fall, 2007 elections, another successful area businessman has confirmed he will be in the race.

Either way, it appears St. John Chief Administrative Officer Natalie Robottom, who led the way in announcing for the parish president’s race, will have a business entity facing her as a prime opponent this fall.

Landcraft Inc. owner Joey Scontrino told L’Observateur this week that he has decided against running for parish president, after an earlier announcement last December that he was seriously looking at entering the race.

&#8220With my business situation, it makes it too difficult to consider at this time,” Scontrino, owner of the biggest homebuilding company in the parish said. &#8220I’m looking at building 250 to 300 homes this year, and have $250 million in revenue. It’s just too much business to put to the side to be parish president, even though I really liked the idea of helping the community in that way.

&#8220The timing is just not right for now, but maybe in the future I would consider it again,” he said.

However just as Scontrino has stepped out of the race, Bill Hubbard, owner of Hubbard Enterprises, told L’Observateur this week &#8220I’m going to be in the race.”

While he has yet to make an official announcement, Hubbard said he began considering it last year since he believes the parish needs to be run in more of a business fashion.

Hubbard, 44, is a lifelong St. John resident who graduated from St. Charles Catholic High. He is a self-made business success, now running a company which specializes in drainage, maintenance, and subdivision development, overseeing a company which grossed $60 million the past two years.

He is currently a board member on the Port of South Louisiana Commission, and has previously served on parish Planning and Zoning Boards.

&#8220I know I could be successful as parish president since I would run the parish like a business,” he explained. &#8220I don’t think the current administration has had good enough communication with the council and state legislators to help us get things done fast enough here. You have to be able to communicate on all levels and I think that is something I do well.”

Hubbard, married for 20 years with two children, said he has already talked to a lot of business people and council members, and has been assured he has excellent support.

&#8220I already have a number of the council members who have said they will openly be active in my campaign,” he said. &#8220And I know with my business connections, I can raise plenty of money to run the campaign.”

St. John Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Harold Klibert, who had earlier said he was considering a run, has now said it is &#8220not likely” that he will enter.

&#8220Politics is all about timing, and right now I don’t think is the time for me to say yes. However I’m not making a definite decision and may not do so until qualifying in the fall. You never know who is entered at that point, so I will decide for sure at that time,” Klibert said.

Also already throwing their name in the hat for the parish presidents race is former Parish Councilman Jobe Boucvalt, former Parish President Arnold Labat and Rev. Donald Brown, pastor of Providence Baptist Church.