Robottom enlists advisors

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2010



LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom has enlisted the help of more than 70 parish residents to determine the future course and direction of the parish.

The diverse group of civic leaders, elected officials, employees and other parish residents, announced Wednesday, will serve as members of her Presidential Advisory Committee, a group that will assist her administration and provide recommendations on a wide range of parish concerns through a variety of sub-committees.

The full advisory committee, one of Robottom’s inauguration day commitments to the parish, is charged with analyzing the current organizational structure of the entire parish government to define future direction and ensure taxpayer revenue is spent wisely and efficiently. The group is expected to compile a recommendation report that will be delivered on Aug. 16.

“I look forward to working with members of the community to analyze current parish operations and to develop a strategic plan that provides direction, transparency and ensures the delivery of quality services that meet the needs of all residents of St. John Parish,” Robottom said in a statement.

The eight sub-committees will delve into governmental ethics reform; public safety; employment and economic development; community development and neighborhoods; recreation, arts, culture and health and human services; finance; human resources; and infrastructure and capital improvements. Each committee includes a specific chairperson, corresponding parish employees and at least one council member assigned by personal preference, according to Robottom.

Robottom said each committee chair will organize and conduct weekly meetings and appoint a secretary to keep a record of discussion and decisions during each meeting. All agendas will be distributed to members at least two days before a scheduled meeting.

St. John Chief Administrative Officer Marie Brown-Mercadel will lead the full advisory panel and provide oversight to the committees to ensure the work is conducted in a timely manner. Angelic Sutherland, a St. John Parish attorney who serves as special assistant to Mercadel, will provide strategic direction and legal oversight to the committees while also serving as co-chair of the governmental ethics reform committee.