Hymel continues leading St. James for another term

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Staff Reporter

VACHERIE – Dale Hymel continued his reign over the politics of St. James Parish when he was sworn in for his fifth consecutive term as parish president. On Monday he welcomed two newcomers to elected office in District 6 Councilman Kendricks Brass and District 2 Councilman Jason Amato, the first Republican councilman to be elected to St. James Parish Council.

The 27-year-old tradition of holding Ecumenical and Inaugural activities together proceeded at St. Philip Catholic Church.

“We begin our celebration in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,” said Father Louis Oubre. “We are here to put our blessing on those who have been elected and reelected. Those who will represent us for the next few years.”

The St. Philip Gospel Choir serenaded the crowd in between blessings and messages of hope from Oubre and Reverend Herbert Harris before Lousiana Supreme Court Justice John Weimer and Judge Thomas Kliebert, Jr. stepped up to the podium to take turns swearing in the members of the parish government.

Weimer kept the crowd entertained with humorous banter.

“Note that the bell rang when you were taking the oath, I don’t know what kind of symbolism that is,” Weimer remarked after he swore in District 4 Councilman Ralph Patin.

Later in the ceremony instead of trading off with Judge Kliebert, Weimer stayed at the podium.

“He asked for you specially,” said Judge Kliebert to District 7 Councilman James Brazan. Brazan hesitated before mounting the stage with a wide smile.

“Brazan was in a class I taught at Nicholls State,” said Weimer. “I believe it was ethics. Note that I say I taught the class, not him.”

After the ceremony elected officials met the public at an open-air reception in Vacherie.

“There is a lot of work to do,” said Hymel. “Our biggest priority is community sewage and a comprehensive zoning plan. Economic development is always an issue and we are looking to work on recreation on the West Bank.”

In reference to the new council members Hymel said it appeared to be the best council he has had yet.

“I’ve known them both all my life,” said Hymel. “Brass is on my basketball team and Amato lives in my subdivision.”

Officials at the ceremony were, District 1 Councilman Elwyn Bocz, District 2 Councilman Jason Amato, District 3 Councilman Wilson Malbrough, Jr., District 4 Councilman Ralph Patin, District 5 Councilman Charles Ketchens, District 6 Councilman Kendricks Brass, District 7 Councilman James Brazan, Council Secretary Angele Rodrigue, Parish President Dale Hymel, Sheriff Willy Martin, Assessor Glenn Waguespack and Coroner Randall Poche’.