The threat of rain didn’t put off the celebration on the steps of New Iberia’s City Hall Tuesday morning as Tony Migues took the oath of office to become the city’s first new city marshal in 40 years.
Migues won a runoff election against fellow candidate Brett Lang to replace former City Marshal Vic Delcambre, who died Dec. 27.
More than 100 people lined both sides of the fountain in front of City Hall prior to the ceremony. State Attorney General Jeff Landry, a longtime friend of Migues, worked the crowd as people filtered in. Landry was on hand to administer the oath of office to Migues.
Aside from Landry, local law enforcement officers and political office holders filled the seats along the mall, mixing with friends and family under the gray skies.
As the ceremony got underway, Mayor Freddie DeCourt said he was excited about the changes Migues has in mind for the marshal’s office.
“He has some major plans for how he wants to handle the office,” DeCourt said. “It’s a good day to be here. It’s a good day to be the mayor.”
In his remarks before administering the oath to Migues, Landry noted that this election cycle has already brought some major changes to Iberia Parish law enforcement.
“The city has a new sheriff and a new marshal,” Landry said. “New Iberia has a chance to get public safety right.”
He said Migues had the priorities of the community in the right place to take on the marshal’s job.
“Whether you are rich or poor, black or white, there are two things everyone cares about,” Landry said. “We all care about safety, and we all care about our kids. Tony Migues cares about safety and he cares about kids. What you see in him is what you want for your community.”
After receiving the oath, Migues made his comments, thanking all of the people who helped in his campaign, his family members and specifically his wife, Peggy.
“Thanks for being my rock and thanks for putting up with me and all my crap,” he said, eliciting a chuckle from the crowd. “I love you.”
He went on to express his hopes for the New Iberia City Marshal’s Office. After paying tribute to his predecessor Delcambre, Migues said he planned to make the office and its operation transparent and open to the residents of New Iberia.
“This office belongs to you, to all the people of New Iberia,” Migues said. “I assure you that you will always have a seat at the table, and to me you are active stakeholders in this office. I will ensure that you know how your money is being spent, what services are being provided, and you will always have the opportunity to play a role in how we do things moving forward.”
He also said he already has an audit of the office underway so he can establish the financial situation and the needs of the operation moving forward.
“I have begun the process of locating used computers, so that we can better track our daily duties and ensure we are being prudent with the collection of fines,” Migues said. “We are working to ensure a strong presence on social media, working to plan quarterly town hall meetings to inform the public and hear your concerns, and working to develop a method of making financial reports accessible online.”
Migues was elected to complete Delcambre’s unexpired term, which ends next year. He will have to run for the office again in October 2020.
“I want you all to know that this marshal’s office is an elected position,” Migues said. “That means it belongs to you.”