TV segments to highlight local issues, keep public in the loop

February 27, 2008 at 9:39 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Parish President V.J. St. Pierre may not have wanted the parish's committee meetings on TV, but he is hoping that the medium will help him accomplish a goal he made upon taking office.

The parish has started making TV segments that help viewers understand the goings on of local government. The first such segment debuted last week with a seven minute clip that was highlighted by St. Pierre answering questions from local residents. During the video, questions about flood protection, infrastructure and other important local issues are brought up, with St. Pierre then saying how he plans to solve each one.

St. Pierre’s department heads also introduced themselves and talked a little bit about their responsibilities.

St. Pierre hopes that programs like these, which air every hour on the hour on Cox Channel 6, can help his office be more open with the public it serves.

"During my campaign, I heard from people in the community that they never know what's going on until it's too late," St. Pierre said. "I figured that these TV segments would help get out  important information."

St. Pierre says that when the parish has big projects, they are going to roll out the cameras and have the person in charge of the project explain it in detail. This would include what exactly the completed project hopes to accomplish and where the money is going.

Besides projects, the segments will also allow viewers to gain more insight into their parish president and council members. The segment that is currently airing allows viewers to get a better idea of where St. Pierre stands on certain issues. The council segment will have the members speak about personal issues, such as their favorite place to spend time in the parish and their hobbies.

An upcoming segment on the recreation department will have director Duane Foret explain the new rules and regulations.
"I'm planning on doing a segment every couple of months," St. Pierre said. "I think it would help people understand just how their government works."

To help produce the segments, St. Pierre has also hired a public information director.

Renee Allemand, who was the managing editor of the Hammond Daily Star, is a native of Hahnville and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, where she majored in mass communication and minored in digital design.

Before being promoted to managing editor, Allemand was the newspaper's special projects editor. She was also one of the lead designers of the Daily Star's new web site, which the paper said was highly praised by readers and advertisers alike.

"We interviewed 15 people because it's a very important job and I want our government to be very open," St. Pierre said. "She had a lot of experience in TV, and that was very important to us."

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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