Ascension Parish Council maintains chair, vice-chair for 2021

Michael Tortorich

During the first regular meeting of the new year, the Ascension Parish Council agreed to keep Teri James Casso as its chair and Travis Turner as vice-chair.

Opening the virtual meeting held Jan. 7, John Cagnolatti nominated Casso. Joel Robert provided the second. 

The Ascension Parish Council held its first meeting of the year virtually on Jan. 7.

As no other nominations were presented, Casso accepted the move. Several members could be seen applauding.

“You know I appreciate each and every one of you,” Casso said. “I look forward to working with each of you this year. 2020 was not an easy year for any of us.”

She referred to the challenges of COVID-19, construction of the new courthouse in Gonzales, negotiations on a regional sewer deal, and the Move Ascension road plan.

“And in 2021, hopefully we will be able to accomplish many other things together that are on each and every one of your minds and on mine,” she said.

In selecting vice-chair, Robert nominated Turner. Chase Melancon and several others gestured to second the motion. Again, no other nominations were made.

“I’d like to thank everyone for giving me that honor,” Turner said. “I look forward to helping Teri, and assisting the council to help with the projects we have coming up.”

In other matters during the meeting:

-- Parish President Clint Cointment followed with a brief report.

He said open jobs will be posted through LinkedIn to attract a wider audience.

Also, the Christmas tree recycling program at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales will continue through Jan. 19. 

Additionally, the parish has partnered with Ochsner Health System to provide free coronavirus testing at the Lemann Memorial Center in Donaldsonville. 

He said 101 people were tested Jan. 6 and 7. It will be available again Jan. 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At the time, the parish’s positivity rate had risen to 16.8 percent, according to the president.

Alvin “Coach” Thomas, who represents the Donaldsonville area, thanked Cointment for his efforts in setting up testing at the Lemann Center.

-- The council agreed on an amendment to the salary table for the council’s secretary.

Casso acknowledged the important role secretary Cinnamon McKey plays for the council.

“I congratulate Cinnamon on the tremendous job she does for all of us,” Casso said.