Two familiar faces join council race

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011



LAPLACE – Two more candidates have announced their plans to seek seats on the St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Oct. 22, with retired St. John the Baptist Parish employee Raydel Morris joining the Division A Council-at-Large race and incumbent council member Cheryl Millet entering the race for her current seat in District 7.

Morris, who in October was appointed to the Division A seat on the council to temporarily fill an opening before a special election could be held, said his promise is to perform his duties as council member in a professional manner and treat everyone with respect and dignity. He said his 24 years of experience as utility manager with the parish will help him make Division A “a great place to live and raise our families.”

The council’s Division A seat represents the western half of the parish and includes Garyville, Mt. Airy, portions of Reserve and all of the west bank. There are roughly 14,000 voters in the district, which is about half of all registered voters in the parish.

LaPlace resident Lucien Gauff currently holds the Division A seat, which he won in the April special election to fill the unexpired term of Richard “Dale” Wolfe. Although Morris was appointed to the council in October 2010 when Wolfe resigned to take over as executive director of the St. John Housing Authority, he did not run in the special election because of an agreement he made with the council to not immediately run for the position he was appointed to. He will now compete against Gauff and Wolfe in the general election.

“I served the people and addressed many tough issues for the residents of both east and west bank in a short time,” Morris said. “I know that by working together with the people and other council members, most of the problems we face today can become a thing of the past.”

Millet, the owner of Saint Optical and a resident of St. John Parish for more than 30 years, said serving and representing the parish and District 7 has been “humbling, exciting and rewarding,” adding, “Although not all decisions made during my tenure have been embraced by all, I always weighed each decision to bring the best for the citizens of District 7 and St. John Parish.”

Millet said she understands the concerns and needs of both the residents and business owners of the parish. She said in the past six years the parish has gotten drinkable water, new parks, recycling, an animal shelter and a juvenile justice facility and noted she wants to continue to be involved in the community’s growth and progress.

“I will continue to be accessible to all residents of St. John Parish,” Millet said. “I will continue to make every attempt to answer their questions and get their needs addressed. I will continue to ride throughout District 7 and parks areas to make sure all areas remain maintained and repaired.”

Qualifying for the Oct. 22 primary election begins Sept. 6.