Election 2019: Perrilloux, Wright and Snyder look to drainage solutions for Division B seat

Published 12:05 am Saturday, August 17, 2019

LAPLACE — Three veteran Parish Council members who have guided St. John for nearly a decade are running for the At-Large Division B seat in the Oct. 12 election, and each candidate cited drainage and flooding solutions as priorities for a brighter future.

Marvin “Butch” Perrilloux, Michael P. Wright and Larry Snyder are all termed limited in their individual council seats. The candidate elected to the At-Large Division B chair will represent approximately half of St. John the Baptist Parish residents, focusing predominantly on LaPlace, on the North side of Airline Highway from Rue de Sante to the St. Charles Parish line.

District/division maps can be found at sjbparish.com.

According to Perrilloux, the only way to ensure top service to residents is with a “boots on the ground” policy.

“I love serving people,” Perrilloux said. “I didn’t get on the council for a popularity contest. I didn’t get on the council for pay. As a Councilman, I have gone to everybody’s house who calls me. I can’t solve your problem on the phone or on the email. I am coming see you. I sit down with you to see how I can help you or who I can get to help you. I will not let one call go by without returning it.”

Perrilloux said he has accomplished every goal he set in previous campaigns for Councilman District 4, and the last puzzle piece to fall into place came Tuesday night when it was announced St. John Parish is moving forward with the Haydel Canal Project to bring additional levee protection to LaPlace residents.

The biggest accomplishment during this term, however, was the start of the West Shore Levee Project. Perrilloux assisted in storm relief operations at New Wine Christian Fellowship after Hurricane Isaac and traveled to Washington DC to lobby for the levee, which received full federal funding within the past year.

Road improvements are just about complete throughout District 4, and Perrilloux looks forward to focusing on new priorities. Aside from seeing the West Shore Levee project through and ensuring local contractors are involved, he plans to conduct a complete overhaul to the internal drainage system and water facilities.

An additional well in LaPlace could serve as a cushion while the Parish expands the Lions water plant to service a growing population, Perrilloux said. On the subject of water meter replacement, Perrilloux demands a 25-year extended warranty to make sure new meters can be replaced in case of malfunction.

A father of five and a grandfather of three, Perrilloux would like to see St. John expand local recreation with a successful skating rink, bowling alley, soccer program and volleyball center. He believes in keeping a continued and open dialogue with the District Attorney, Sheriff and School Board.

Michael Wright has been very involved in the community, even before his time on the Parish Council, as a St. John Parish Relay for Life co-chair, a member of the LaPlace Lions Club and part of the Board of Directors for St. John Theatre.

He works from a home office with Fresenius Kidney Care, and he said the company has been supportive of his around-the-clock Parish Council duties.

“With the five years I’ve been with the company, I’ve gone through numerous leadership trainings that I think have better prepared me for the Parish Council,” Wright said, adding he is humbled to serve his community.

“My wife and I are starting a family here. I am just as concerned as the rest of the residents for the direction of our parish, and I want to make sure we are building a better future for the next generations to come. Public service is a sacrifice. Being accessibly to residents, there is no cutoff time. I take calls after hours, on the weekends.”
Accessibility, capital improvements in roadways and significant upgrades to parks and boat launches in District 5 were among the greatest successes during his time in office. In addition to making advances toward the hurricane protection levee, Wright is assisting in blueprints for a new water intake station and planned enhancements to the Ruddock water system.

Drainage improvements and water meter installation will be crucial to the next administration, Wright said. Parish leaders must be proactive in relocating the LaPlace water system and being accountable for every water bill reading that goes out to residents, he said.

Working more with community stakeholders to provide more opportunities for kids is another priority, while streamlining the planning and zoning process would help promote a more business friendly environment. Wright said unification between branches of government is vital to accomplishing goals, and he plans to keep open communication with administration.

Wright and Larry Snyder both believe St. John Parish’s greatest asset is its prime location between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Along with an ecology that lends itself to agriculture and recreation, there is a world of potential for St. John to be a national forerunner in industry.

Snyder also believes in a St. John Parish water overhaul to bring necessary improvements to drinking water, drainage and sewage. He’s directed Parish administration to add a budget line item at a minimum of $500,000 to go toward drainage. Snyder also sees need to increase the water supply for Reserve residents and add another well in LaPlace.

While water meter installation had been a slow process with legal issues, Snyder has fought for action in the rebidding of the project. Snyder is hopeful a contract will be awarded within the next month and a half.

With experience in Planning and Zoning, where he has been a part of the Zoning Board of Adjustments, Snyder is confident in his knowledge of government and his ability to help constituents. While the Parish Council is viewed as a part time job, he said it is a full time commitment.