Robottom quickly hired for top job in Terrebonne

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2008


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – Even though Natalie Robottom found herself out of a job after losing a very close race for the St. John parish president’s position, few people thought the talented local official would have any trouble finding her next job.

But even Robottom admitted this week that the speed in which that happened has even surprised her.

Robottom, the chief administrative officer (CAA) under Parish President Nickie Monica, barely had time to catch her breath after losing by less than 200 votes to newly elected Parish President Bill Hubbard. Instead, the phones were ringing very quickly about who her next employer might be.

Topping the list of those calls were not one, but two job prospects to take a similar position to her CAA job with neighboring parishes, not to mention an interview with the new incoming state administration for Governor-elect Bobby Jindal.

Robottom settled the question of where she would be working next by accepting a position recently to become the new parish manager in Terrebonne Parish for newly elected President Michel Claudet.

She will begin that job on Monday, seeing her current salary in St. John of $73,000 a year jump to $81,200 in Terrebonne, not to mention additional perks that will make her new job near $100,000 a year.

“I didn’t even have time to look into a bunch of other jobs,” she said. “I just started getting these calls.”

Robottom also had a call requesting her resume from Ascension Parish, and had an interview with their new president-elect as well. But in the end, she felt like the fit in Terrebonne was best for her, where the title will be different, but the job very similar to what she was doing in St. John.

“I had a very positive meeting with Michel and liked what he told me I would be doing. Essentially he said he will be the kind of parish president who will be out meeting people a lot, and I will be running most of the day-to-day operations of the parish,” she explained. “It’s a lot of what I was doing in St. John.”

The biggest difference for Robottom is that Terrebonne is twice the size of St. John in terms of population, going from 45,000 here

to 100,000 there, while she will be overseeing 600 employees, compared to 200 in St. John.

“It’s very similar but on a larger scale,” she agreed. “Their key issues are coastal erosion, levee protection and drainage, so what do you know, it’s a lot like here.”

Robottom said she just felt very fortunate to have such a positive response to her ability, especially since she said her former boss Nickie Monica didn’t even have any time to talk to anyone for her.

“I asked Nickie if he had talked to them, and he said ‘no,’ so I was very surprised and flattered to be getting this kind of attention so fast,” she said. “When I talked to Michel, he said I was a person he heard could leap tall buildings in a single bound, in terms of my ability. So of course that was very flattering. The funny thing to me is that I still don’t know who the people are he had talked to about me.”

Now moving on, but remaining in government, Robottom said she only has good wishes for St. John.

“Things work out for a reason,” she said in reference to not winning the election. “But now I can take all the information and knowledge I gained and put it to use again. I like the challenge of government and helping people and I wish Bill Hubbard and everyone in St. John only the best.”

Robottom said she will continue to reside in St. John Parish for now.