Raj Pannu up for Councilman Boe’s seat

Published 12:12 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

Parish Council hopes to name District 7 representative June 28

LAPLACE — Rajender Pannu said she was surprised but honored when former St. John the Baptist Parish Councilman Buddy Boe recommended her as his temporary replacement.

“It was very kind of him to recommended me,” Pannu said. “He knows that I’ve been working diligently to further the progress of our community. (Boe) knows that I’ve been associated with the community for quite a while.”

Raj Pannu

Raj Pannu

Boe resigned his District 7 representative seat Tuesday at this week’s Parish Council meeting. Since Boe is no longer a member of the Council, he can’t decide who replaces him; he can only make a recommendation.

The position became available when Boe left to take over as senior advisor and communications director for Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

An interim Council member, voted on by the Council, will replace Boe and occupy the seat until a special election can be held, officials said.

Once a permanent representative has been elected, that individual would hold the position through the end of the term in 2019.

At this time, The Registrar of Voters said no special election has been set.

Pannu, the president of the Belle Terre Civic Association, hopes she is given the chance to represent the district on an interim basis.

“If I can make any improvements, I would love to do that,” Pannu said. “If I’m given the opportunity I will make sure that I work diligently to make things better.”

Pannu said she would like to make a difference in her community and make sure her district is taken care of.

“I want to make sure that whatever progress has been made is taken further, rather then being stagnant,” she said, adding she has no intentions of seeking the position full term.

District 4 Councilman Marvin Perrilloux, who serves as Council chairman, said he has known Pannu for many years and has no problem with Boe’s recommendation.

“She is well known in the community and in the parish,” Perrilloux said. “She is a business owner, and I think she will be good for District 7. I am for (Boe’s) nomination.”

Perrilloux said Council members floated other names for the position such as Beverly Harris and former Councilwomen Cheryl Millet; however, he noted nothing has been finalized.

Perrilloux said Council members should officially vote on a temporary replacement at their next meeting, June 28.

Since a interim representative has not been chosen, Perrilloux said he is personally stepping up to help those in District 7, along with Division B Councilwoman at Large Jaclyn Hotard.

Along with recommending Pannu as his temporary replacement before leaving the Council, Boe made a resolution asking Parish Administration to establish an Out Flood Protection Account in the annual budget.

The account would be designated funding for designing, permitting, financing and constructing the Westshore Levee Protection Project.

Council members unanimously approved the recommendation Tuesday.

Parish President Natalie Robottom took the recommendation under advisement but did not offer a comment on the matter during Tuesday’s meeting.