FRANKLIN — Seven St. Mary Parish Councilmen bid their farewells Wednesday, ending their tenure on the St. Mary Parish Council.
Councilmen Paul Naquin, Sterling Fryou, Kevin Voisin, Glen Hidalgo, Ken Singleton, Dale Rogers and Gabriel Beadle will not be entering the new 2020 term as local lawmakers.
Four of them said goodbye due to term limits; two chose not to campaign, and another was defeated in his attempt to jump from a single member district to an at-large seat.
Longtime St. Mary Parish Councilman and former St Mary Parish President Paul Naquin announced over the summer that he would not seek re-election.
Council Clerk Lisa Morgan read a letter of thanks from Naquin, who was absent Wednesday. He was the only member of the council to have served on the St. Mary Parish Police Jury, which pre-dated the council before 1983. He served the parish council as an at-large member for the Franklin area.
Fryou, who represents Amelia and is termed out, said he campaigned for office five times before he was elected eight years ago.
“It took me a long time to get here. I want to thank all of St. Mary Parish for allowing me to serve and spend your money. And I want to thank all of these guys I served with. They might look dumb but they pretty smart,” Fryou said amidst laughter.
Voisin, who held an at-large seat representing Morgan City, said he wanted to thank the citizens for allowing him to serve five terms, 12 years as a councilman from a single member district, and eight years at-large. He is termed out.
“I was first elected in 1995, and I served under five St. Mary Parish Presidents,” Voisin said.
Hidalgo who represented Bayou Vista, thanked his constituents, his wife and family.
“I thank them for putting up with 12 years of controlled chaos.”
Hidalgo, who is termed out, is being replaced by his wife Gwen, marking a first for the parish government.
She will join Dr. Kristi Prejeant, whom voters also elected, which also marks the first time in St. Mary Parish history that two elected women will serve on the parish council at the same time.
Ken Singleton, who represented the unincorporated areas of Patterson for the past eight years, said he had to first thank God, “because this has been amazing. Being in this seat is very humbling. You’re elected to represent and this is what we do. I want to thank my wife for putting up with alot.”
Rogers, who was a former long-time Franklin City Councilman, chose to campaign for an at-large seat this campaign cycle, but was defeated. He represented the Franklin, Centerville and Verdunville areas on the parish council for the past four years.
“It has been an honor an privilege. I can’t say enough about this administration. If you have a problem, you can go to them, and they will lead you in the right direction, “ Rogers said.
“I am most proud of the road improvement work that we have done and are doing. It took the parish 20 years to improve its roads, but we did it.”
Beadle, who was first elected in a single member district but resigned to run for the at-large seat he presently holds, chose not to campaign for office.
He said he couldn’t give enough accolades, but spoke nearly 17 minutes thanking his fellow councilmen, as well as the council clerks and the parish administration.
Beadle held an at-large seat, representing Berwick and Bayou Vista.
Parish President David Hanagriff told the outgoing members how much he learned from them, some of them over the past 12 years.
“Gentlemen, we’ve done a lot in this parish. We haven’t always agreed, but it has been an honor,” Hanagriff said.