AMITE — New Parish President Robby Miller on Monday addressed the Tangipahoa Parish Council for the first time, saying he is looking forward to working closely with them to move the parish forward.
Miller, along with the 10 council members, was sworn into office earlier in the day at the Florida Parishes Arena near Amite. He replaces Gordon Burgess, who chose not to seek re-election. Miller said he realized he is replacing a leader who had served the parish for almost three decades. Burgess had served as president ever since voters in 1986 approved the home rule charter that established the president-council form of government.
“I am looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for the parish and I want to move the parish forward,” Miller said. “I am asking for your help and look forward to working with you to improve the lives of all our residents.”
At the brief meeting, the council unanimously chose Bobby Cortez as president for the coming year. Lionel Wells was unanimously elected as vice president. Kristen Pecararo was chosen to continue in her position as clerk of the council.
Cortez welcomed three new members to the council: Buddy Ridgel, Joey Mayeaux and James Baley. Ridgel previously served seven terms on the council but resigned his seat four years ago when he was named director of public services for the city of Hammond. He retired from that position last year and successfully won back his seat on the council. Mayeaux and Baley are new to elective office.
Other council members returning are Trent Forrest, Harry Levine, David Vial, Carlo Bruno and Louis Joseph.
On Monday, the council awarded a bid of $318,000 to Brunt Construction of Independence for construction of a small animal barn at the Florida Parishes Arena.
They also agreed to apply for a state grant of $30,925 to complete flooring and carpet replacement at the parish courthouse.