St. Charles postpones decision hiring lobbyist

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 6, 2008


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre agreed to put off a decision to appoint a lobbyist to handle parish affairs at the federal level until after this fall’s presidential election, said a spokesperson for the parish.

St. Charles Parish Public Information Officer Renee Allemand said that St. Pierre introduced the agreement between the parish and Egle Associates, of Vienna, Va., for a vote of the St. Charles Council at an August 18 council meeting, but the issue was tabled. The proposal came to light again during a September meeting, but after council discussion, St. Pierre agreed to remove it from consideration, at least until after elections take place.

“The consensus among the council was that it would be better to wait until after the November 4 election takes place,” said Allemand. “At that time, they will have a better idea of the political landscape.”

Also at issue was the $100,000 salary Egle asked for. Some council members felt the figure was too expensive. St. Pierre also said he would spend more time shopping different firms before making a final lobbyist decision.

Allemand said a parish lobbyist is something new that St. Pierre has wanted to look into for some time. She said the idea came from recent discussions with Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard.

“Mr. Broussard essentially told V.J. that a lot of the projects that get done in Jefferson are a direct result of having a lobbyist in place in Washington,” said Allemand. “They have someone that can put ideas in the ear of senators and congressmen and V.J. wants to see that for St. Charles.”

Egle Associates is led by Richard Egle, a former Lafourche Parish president and Chamber of Commerce leader during the 1980s. He has been a lobbyist in Washington for about 15 years, petitioning for private entities. This would have been his first foray into parish government affairs.