[StBernard] St. Bernard voters sweep out familiar faces

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Mon Nov 21 08:02:20 EST 2011

St. Bernard voters sweep out familiar faces


Posted on November 20, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Updated yesterday at 8:03 PM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News

CHALMETTE, LA - St. Bernard residents voted a new group of people into
office. Some believe it's because the parish lost many of its traditional
families after Hurricane Katrina and new residents moved in. Other residents
say they wanted new ideas and change.

The day after the heated race for parish president in St. Bernard Parish,
the run off election is still on people's minds. And they are talking about
the new people who will take over in January.

"I think that's the way the vote went was they just wanted someone else in
office who they don't feel is controlling the whole parish," said voter Jody

The people we stopped in a local grocery story embraced the change of a new
parish president even though incumbent, Craig Taffaro lost in a close race
to David Peralta.

"Permits. Everybody has a hard, hard time building, coming back, very much
and the disrespect we had in this community," Nicky Mones gave as his
reasons for wanting change.

"I think some of them are going to be good. I mean some of the people I
voted for won, some of them didn't. I think the changes are going to be
good," said Corey Bastoe who lives in St. Bernard.

"I think there just wasn't trust in government all over. And I think it was
evident by a nearly complete overhaul of all the incumbents. I think people
saw things that were going on. They weren't happy. I think there wasn't good
communications for one thing. I don't think people understood to a large
degree what was going on and they were frustrated with it," said new Parish
President David Peralta who won the election last night by 584 votes.

And most of the people we talked to in St. Bernard said no matter what their
opinion was about how the races turned out, all of them seem to agree, they
were glad the election was over.

"Well I'm truly glad that it's over with, you know, there was a lot of mud
slinging and it's a shame that it comes out that way," said Jody Honold.

"I'm glad not to get all that mail in the mailbox. It's a lot of paper but
secondly I'm glad all of the name calling and all the negativity is over
with and we can move forward," said Belinda Catalano a St. Bernard Voter.

Peralta says first he plans to check the financial status of the parish
government and bring back the ethics board so there is more openness in
parish operations. He also says incoming public servants agree the parish
needs an image makeover.

"I talked to some of the new candidates that are coming in and one of the
things that we want to do is we want we want to change our image. We don't
think people see a clear image of St. Bernard. It's a good and wholesome
community. It's stocked with a lot of very diverse groups of people," said

He also said he had a reason he wanted to be president. "Because I believe
in St. Bernard Parish and I believe that St. Bernard Parish can be better
than it's been depicted."

"It's a great day for St. Bernard Parish, because we got our parish back,"
added Mones.

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