St. Charles Herald-Guide

V.J. & Snookie RIDING HIGH in Laque’s election forecast

By Shonna Riggs - April 11, 2007

Outgoing parish president says five capable men are running for his office but these two are the guys to beat in Oct. vote.

In a surprisingly candid election-year forecast, outgoing St. Charles Parish President Albert Laque says candidates Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux and V. J. St. Pierre are the men to beat in this year’s October election to replace him.

“I’ve heard there are at least five candidates entering the race for parish president - V. J. St. Pierre (former police juror), Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux (councilman-at-large), Ram Ramchandran (councilman), Rodney Lafon (St. Charles Parish schools superintendent) and Chris Tregre (former parish president),” Laque told the Herald-Guide in an exclusive interview.

“I know I read in the Herald-Guide that Rodney said he isn’t running for parish president, but if he does he would certainly be right up there with Snookie and V. J., he’s done a great job leading our school system.

“Any of the five would do a good job, but Snookie and V. J. stand out.

"Snookie has served as a councilman-at-large for both sides of the river. And V.J. was on the police jury and a local businessman.

“The community is familiar with them.

“They’ve made their intentions known that they want to run for the office, and that will help generate more support.

"Chris Tregre has decided to run again, but he had some problems with the Army Corps of Engineers (when he was parish president). We need someone (who can work with the corps) to get our levees completed."

Laque - who has served a maximum two-terms in the office - declined to say who he’ll vote for.

But he stressed that residents need strong and energetic leadership to help negotiate important issues like hurricane protection, population growth, continued drainage, sewage and water system improvements, industrial expansion and other challenges facing the parish.

“There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do all that needs to be done,” said Laque, noting that a parish president’s duties and responsibilities vary day to day.

“My day begins at 6 a.m.,” he said. “I usually get at least three telephone calls concerning something in the parish before I even get to the office.”

Once in his office, he prepares for meetings that are scheduled for most of his day. In between meetings, he makes and returns phone calls and meets with citizens and parish employees.

“I go to council meetings every other Monday, too,” said Laque. “Sometimes my day doesn’t end until 9:30 or later in the evening.”

Laque’s term ends Jan. 2008.