St. John shouldn’t let scandal keep parish down

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 2, 2009

Last week, the St. John community reeled as news of a bribery scandal involving then-Parish President Bill Hubbard, one of the area’s favorite sons, came to light. That initial shock was further compounded when news of his resignation surfaced last Thursday.

This surprising turn of events has left the residents of St. John in an uneasy predicament.

True, Hubbard was a force for change in the parish. During his 18-month tenure, he accomplished more than many in his position accomplish throughout their entire term. Among his many achievements are the construction of phase one of the new animal shelter, the passage of a $29.5 million bond package to be used for infrastructure improvements, the reduction in overtime for parish employees and the collection of delinquent water accounts.

True, without Hubbard at the helm, the journey toward progress may have hit a little speed bump.

True, this scandal — one in a seeming sea of political scandals — has given local residents yet another reason not to trust public officials.

What is also true, however, is St. John Parish has only one valid position. Area denizens must put their trust in those now in command and keep their eyes focused on the future.

St. John is lucky in that this scandal did not drag on for months and hinder the business of parish government as so many similar transgressions have. The parish is also lucky to have the leadership of Pat McTopy, who has served the parish in one capacity or another for over three decades and knows the workings of the government so well.

Last week’s events were unfortunate, to be sure, but it is now up to the citizens of St. John Parish to leave it in the past and keep the momentum started by the Hubbard administration — who are still mostly in place — rolling.