Robottom: Vote yes on April 9 millage renewals

Published 12:02 am Saturday, March 19, 2016

On Saturday, April 9 voters will decide whether or not to renew two existing millages that currently fund the St. John the Baptist Parish Public Library System and the Parish Health Unit.

We are asking residents to please vote FOR the renewal of the Library Millage and the Health Unit Millage in this important election.

These are not new taxes nor tax increases. These two renewals are for ten years and they are critical to our community and the quality of life of our residents.

The library proposition remains at 9.94 mills, which generates $4.5 million in funding a year. These dollars fund the operation, maintenance and staffing of all four library branches. These four libraries are located in LaPlace, Reserve, Garyville and Edgard and each branch houses resources that are essential to the growth of the community and the education and development of our children. Our public libraries offer a world of opportunities for those who use them, including free homework assistance, free computers and Internet, public education classes, family activities, career centers and more.

Meeting rooms in the facilities are also available to the public for neighborhood and organizational meetings. The ongoing public education and access to information that libraries provide are invaluable and are at the forefront of improving our parish.

It is our duty and responsibility as voting adults to maintain this much needed resource.

The .96 mills for the Health Unit generates $434,000 for operations and two staff members of the facility through a partnership with state and federal agencies. The Health Unit provides several, much-needed services for our residents. Though open to everyone, it often serves families with limited income or those that are uninsured.

The Parish Health Unit maintains a general clinic that offers screenings, immunizations, preventative health care, testing and more while ultimately promoting the overall health and wellbeing of the citizens of St. John the Baptist Parish.

If this renewal fails, the services previously referenced would no longer be available to many of our residents or they would have to travel outside of the parish to access comparable services. The Health Unit has filled a need for many years and it would be a disservice to our residents if services were no longer available.

Residents can vote early for the propositions at the Percy Hebert building in LaPlace and the Courthouse in Edgard beginning Saturday, March 26 through Saturday, April 2. Early voting hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at each polling location.

Please check your voting precinct as a number of precincts have changed. Remember to bring photo identification. The Clerk of Court’s Office would like to remind voters who normally vote at St. Peter’s School on Election Day that they will vote at the Lacour Center for the April 9 election.

Government can and should live within its means, and these propositions allow us to do just that. With NO INCREASE IN TAXES, the approval of these proposals will allow Parish government to continue to provide basic services for our community — children, adults and senior citizens.

Please join me in supporting the proposed renewals, not tax increases. For more information and to sign up for news updates and emergency notices, please visit the Parish website at

Thank you and don’t forget to vote on April 9!

Natalie Robottom is St. John the Baptist Parish President. She can be reached at