Bill Hubbard still filling cabinet

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – President Elect Bill Hubbard announced Thursday he has named three more members to his administrative cabinet, appointing directors of Public Utilities, Parks and Recreation, and Purchasing.

Also Thursday, Hubbard announced he will delay filling the Chief Financial Officer position until the second half of 2008 in an effort to give him more time to thoroughly review the parish’s annual audit.

Current Accounting Manager Vince Lucia and assistant Julie Songy will continue to fulfill the duties of Chief Financial Officer for the next six months while Hubbard seeks out a candidate with CPA certification.

“The current finance department management is doing a tremendous job,” said Hubbard. “I look forward to working with them as we reign in unnecessary spending, and plan appropriately for the future.”

For Public Utilities Director, Hubbard has chosen to stick with current Director Ralph Bean. Bean is a professional engineer, and has served as director for the past four years under the administration of outgoing Parish President Nickie Monica.

“Working with Ralph, I look forward to cutting the overtime of the department and solving many of the parish’s sewerage capacity problems,” said Hubbard. “We will deliver clean, fresh water to the people of St. John.”

Hubbard has also chosen to keep Errol Manuel in his post as Parks and Recreation Director, a position he has held since 2001.

Hubbard said he applauds Manuel’s success in instituting recreation programs in the parish, but said he plans to restructure the department to put more emphasis on neighborhood parks. He hopes to put a plan in place early in 2008.

Rounding out Thursday’s appointments, Hubbard has decided to return Brenda Labat to her post as Director of Purchasing and Procurement for the parish.

Labat is a Certified Purchasing Manager with over 20 years corporate experience, along with seven years of government purchasing experience in St. John Parish.

Hubbard said Labat’s ability to streamline operations, cut costs, and instill accountability to the Purchasing department made her the right candidate for the job.

“I look forward to utilizing Brenda’s experience to fully integrate the purchasing and budgeting programs of St. John to allow for better planning and increased savings in the future,” said Hubbard.

In the coming weeks, Hubbard plans to name the remaining members of his cabinet. He said the appointments should be in place by the time he takes office on January 14.