Inauguration sets high road for new government
Father Bernard Francis started the day’s proceedings off with mass for the elected crew at Holy Rosary Church in Hahnville. He went through the 10 commandments in his sermon stressing how they applied to public officials as well as private citizens.
The fourth commandment to honor thy parents could also be interpreted as honoring our public officials and the laws of the land. And of course the seventh commandment that thou shalt not steal applies to public officials expecially when it comes to tax money. Just remember it is not your money and it would amount to stealing if you take it, he pointed out. But he emphasized that our new officials should be up to the task for which they were elected.
The proceedings were then transferred to the front of the courthouse where the president and council were sworn in. It was a beautiful day for the start of a new era with a refreshing breeze blowing from the river not far away.
State Treasurer John Kennedy gave an enlightening speach as main speaker. He emphasized that the local level is the most important level of government. He pointed out that one of Pres. John F. Kennedy’s staff members remarked that he would have been happier if just one of his cabinet members had been a sheriff, pointing out that none of them had experience of government at the lower levels which is closest to the taxpayers.
He emphasized that ethics is the most important thing in government because it make everything else fall into place. He pointed out that it is against the law for the state treasurer to play the state lottery.
“How would it look if he were to win a 40 million dollar jackpot?” Appearance does not reflect reality. Louisiana’s government is better ethically than its reputation indicates which is costing us. “Do we want the 500 top companies to think we have backroom deals here?”
But the state is making progress in improving ethical standards.
“We have reformed our levee board system.” He pointed out that the state has made significant financial reforms. Campaign contributions have been reduced to $5,000 per person and anyone can go to the internet and find out where candidates got their campaign money.
He concluded: “The state is better than its reputation. We have a great story to tell. We excell in many areas. Our people are the best.”
Parish President St. Pierre’s son, Ron, served as master of ceremonies for the inauguration. He pointed out that, as a taxpayer, his father now works for him, an enlightening statement indeed.
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