For a second time this year, Cut Off resident and former Lafourche Parish Councilman Rodney Doucet was not ratified for the position of Parish Administrator.
In a 4-5 vote at Tuesday’s public meeting, with members Michael Gros, Luci Sposito, Bo Melvin, Corey Perrillioux and Jerry Lafont saying “nay”, the Council did not accept Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle’s latest nominee for the second highest position in parish government.
Doucet was also voted down in April, with some members unhappy at his failure to show up at that public meeting.
Doucet, who works as an instructor at the Career Magnet Center in Lockport, explained that he was unable to attend because of his work schedule.
“You have to do what your boss tells you to do. The night that I was supposed to be here, (my boss) asked me to take his place at a meeting,” said Doucet.
Armand Autin and other Council members questioned Doucet’s style.
“In 2016, you were in the audience. You kind of made a couple of outbursts. You wanted to speak. You thought you should have been able to speak, but it was one of those items where you couldn’t speak. It kind of left an impression on us,” said Autin.
Doucet said the parish government is in chaos, but Autin countered that Doucet’s staunch persona is likewise a form of chaos.
“Every time you draw a line in the sand and you are not willing to cross that line, that’s a problem. I think that’s our fear as young councilmen. You kind of have that line in the sand. It can’t be that way. It has to be all the way around. We have to all be able to work together,” said Autin.
Autin said he hoped for more restraint from Doucet if he were to become Administrator.
When Michael Gros wondered at how Doucet would balance the Administrator position with his present job, Doucet said he had not in fact made up his mind yet whether he would work full or part time for the parish.
“First of all, I haven’t made a full decision because y’all shot me down last time. I’m waiting to see what you’re going to do. That’s the bottom line,” he replied.
Corey Perrillioux, who was Council Chairman at the time, said that Doucet’s outbursts at a previous meeting were a problem.
“If I remember right I had to gavel you about three times because you kept speaking out of turn. That’s what set the tone with a lot of us thinking ‘this guy’s a malcontent. He can’t even follow protocol in a public forum.’ So I‘m glad you are here tonight to address it. But still I kind of get a vibe that you’re kind of combative tonight in the same vein,” said Perrillioux.
Doucet said he had the outburst because as a “person of truth” he felt he had to speak up on behalf of the public who could not address an item on the agenda.
Bayou Blue Councilman Craig Jaccuzzo said that Doucet’s style of “passion and emotion” can make people become productive and successful, but it can also get individuals passed up.
“The key is to funnel those things in a direction that’s always positive. Sometimes we have to funnel it into a positive manner and know how to put it in check,” said Jaccuzzo.
Another differing view between Council members and Doucet was on the value of District Attorney opinions.
While most members feel that DA opinions are guidance and should be followed, Doucet said in the future the Council needs to ask the DA to interpret the law and not simply give an opinion.
“Ask the District Attorney if his opinion is law and he’ll tell you it’s only his opinion. He needs to tell us what the law is,” said Doucet.
After the meeting, Doucet said he felt the Council did not want a “headstrong” person in the position, one who would possibly make changes and tell people what they should be doing.
“But, I put it in God’s hands. If God wanted me to have this position the first time, I would have gotten appointed,” he said.
Posted on Fri, December 14, 2018
by By Buster Avera Contributing Writer