Destrehan residents Dick Gibbs and Michael “Mike” Mobley will compete in October for the open Parish Council At-Large Division A position, a slot current Councilmember Beth Billings will vacate in January before settling into her new District 56 State House of Representatives seat.
While their individual platforms differ in a few ways, in recent interviews Gibbs and Mobley, both registered Republicans, had one central focal point in common – the two candidates wanted to maintain a continuous focus on education.
When it comes to education, if elected, Mobley said he would place emphasis on raising St. Charles Parish Public Schools’ ranking from number six statewide to number one.
“I just want to see St. Charles Parish as the greatest parish in the state of Louisiana,” Mobley said. “We’re doing very well when it comes to education; we’re ranked pretty high among the other parishes, but we’re still behind parishes like St. Tammany…I would like to see us number one in education.”
Gibbs also vowed to maintain focus on parish level education, and said if elected, he would continue to monitor the parish’s educational system and its output.
“I pay close attention to making sure no CRTs are in our education; it’s all about the ABCs,” Gibbs commented, referencing Critical Race Theory educational content that has sparked national debate in recent years.
Gibbs has geared his campaign platform to focus on four key areas, the same areas he said he has focused on while serving in his current council position.
“I’ve always governed under four pillars: drainage, levees, crime and education,” Gibbs commented regarding his political focus.
As an advocate for local law enforcement, Gibbs said he believed in equipping local law enforcement with the proper resources and tools needed to fight crime and prevent higher crime-prone parishes such as Orleans Parish affecting nearby St. Charles Parish.
In discussing St. Charles Parish’s levees and drainage systems, Gibbs said the work for both require constant monitoring from local officials.
“Drainage is a never-ending priority…we’ve accomplished quite a bit in the last four years, but this challenge is never complete,” Gibbs said. “Levees are [a] 24 hours, seven days a week [job]… We need them to grow; we need to maintain them and then we need to extend them.”
Gibbs’ background includes time served as chairman of the Planning and Zoning for eight years prior to becoming councilman in District III, a seat he held for another eight years, one he will “term out” of this year.
As a two-term council member, Gibbs has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Community Action Advisory Board, Sunset Drainage District Board of Commissioners and the St. Charles Parish Retiree Benefits Funding Trust Board of Trustees. Professionally, Gibbs currently serves as Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for New Orleans-based insurance agency Hartwig Moss.
Like Gibbs, Mobley’s campaign will also focus on drainage and levee protection with an eye on flood prevention. As a longtime resident of Destrehan, Mobley said his home has flooded three times over the decades; if elected he planned to make flood prevention his number one priority.
“What I’m going to do is not vote for future developments unless there is an absolute drainage plan that goes with each development; [we] will not further tax the problems we have now,” Mobley promised.
The West Bank boat launch project in Des Allemands was another key issue Mobley vowed to see to completion, an amenity he felt needed to be finalized for parish residents after several years of languishing on the parish’s up-and-coming projects list.
Mobley is a longtime St. Charles Parish resident, who first moved to the local area in 1978. The council member candidate spent most of his career in the retail auto parts industry, and previously owned his own auto parts store in St. Charles Parish. He worked as a district sales manager for national auto parts retailer NAPA Auto Parts for many years before retiring.
Mobley was previously involved with the East St. Charles Parish Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years, as well as a past treasurer and board member of that organization.