Transition under way in parish president’s office

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2010



LAPLACE – Natalie Robottom will be sworn into office as part of Tuesday’s Parish Council meeting in Edgard just 11 days after winning the runoff election for St. John the Baptist Parish President.

Robottom, a former chief administrative officer for St. John under former Parish President Nickie Monica, defeated Parish Councilman Richard “Dale” Wolfe in a runoff election May 1.

The LaPlace resident replaces former Parish President Bill Hubbard, who resigned from office in September before pleading guilty to federal bribery charges.

She will serve the remaining 18 months of Hubbard’s first term.

Robottom said Thursday she was still trying to confirm who would administer the oath, but said she will be at the helm once the meeting gets started.

“It has been a short but smooth transition so far,” Robottom said. “My team has been working very closely with (acting Parish President) Pat McTopy in an effort to continue to provide service to residents with no interruption.”

Robottom said she has had several meetings with McTopy and his staff of directors and department heads to discuss the state of the parish and the status of several projects the outgoing administration put into motion. She said current staff members have been extremely helpful with providing documents and other information she requests.

Robottom also said she has had meetings with each individual council member to discuss projects and issues they plan to address in the coming months. She said all nine council members, including Wolfe, her opponent in the runoff, have expressed positive support.

“I spoke to Mr. Wolfe today, and the conversation was very cordial,” Robottom said.

“He has pledged to work with me to complete all of the projects in an efficient manner.”

Robottom said she still has not chosen a chief administrative officer or chief financial officer, but she indicated she is close to a decision.

She said she most likely would not have either named before Tuesday’s meeting.

“I feel that I have time to make a decision on a few of these positions because I am confident in the people in place at the present time,” Robottom said. “They are doing a good job of filling the void in the interim.”

Tuesday’s council meeting will be held at the Rudolph Souraparu Council Chambers at the St. John Parish Courthouse in Edgard. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.