Hubbard: ‘No more us vs. them’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Staff Reporter

EDGARD – In his first address as president of St. John the Baptist Parish, Bill Hubbard stressed a commitment to communication and cooperation to conquer the challenges facing his administration in the coming years.

“We have raised the bar in every way,” said Hubbard after being sworn in as St. John’s fourth parish president. “We can overcome any obstacle together.”

In his inaugural speech, Hubbard addressed the tremendous growth the parish has experienced over the past four years, and said the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has put the parish in a unique position.

“St. John now stands at a crossroads,” said Hubbard. “We can either choose to prepare better for the future and improve the quality of life for our citizens, or we can choose to continue providing the typical government services in the same way.”

Hubbard promised to run an administration committed to providing an open and honest government, with a demand for efficiency, accountability and service in every area of the parish.

“The ‘us-verses-them’ mentality of the past has ended,” said Hubbard. “I will need your cooperation to make the changes the people are expecting.”

Being a political newcomer, Hubbard pegged himself as the underdog ready to take over and face the issues and challenges of the parish head on. He expressed an eagerness to get to work, and said that communication on every level would be the foundation of his administration.

“People are going to be surprised by how well the council and I work together,” said Hubbard. “I look forward to four years of nothing less than unprecedented achievement in our community.”

This commitment to cooperation could be seen right off the bat at the inaugural council meeting, when the council unanimously approved Hubbard’s first proposal regarding a new animal shelter. The council agreed to allow administration to request bids for a new construction where the animal shelter presently stands.

Hubbard also reiterated his campaign promise to instill business-like mentalities into the operation of government.

“The people pay taxes every year, and it is our job to deliver a service and a product that the citizens need and can be proud of.”

Hubbard concluded his speech with his vision for the future, and asked that the citizens of St. John keep an optimistic attitude.

“The decisions we make during the next four years will affect us for the next 40,” said Hubbard. “I ask you to look down that road and envision a better St. John.”