In The News › Capella takes oath as assessor; ALSO: BGR backs tax renewals; Early voting starts Saturday

Capella takes oath as assessor; ALSO: BGR backs tax renewals; Early voting starts Saturday

Thursday, April 14, 2011
By Richard Rainey
The Times-Picayune

Eleven days after his lopsided victory in a four-way race, Tom Capella took the oath of office Wednesday to become Jefferson Parish’s newest property assessor.

Sending a letter to the secretary of state’s office and the parish clerk of court’s office Tuesday, Capella resigned his Division B seat on the Parish Council and paved the way for his former colleagues to select a temporary replacement for the remaining eight months of his term.

Capella spent much of Wednesday cleaning out desks and taking photographs off the walls of his council office. While he is still making the transition, he said he introduced himself to his new staff.

“There’s just going to be a little of a learning curve,” he said. “It’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

His rise to one of the most powerful positions in Jefferson Parish government is the latest high note in Capella’s political career. Never losing an election, he served in the state House of Representatives before joining the council in 2004. He was re-elected in 2007 to another four-year term.

Capella, the youngest of 10 siblings, won the April 2 election by taking 74 percent of the vote. He lives in Metairie with his wife and two daughters.

His departure sets in motion a byzantine new procedure the council must follow to select an interim officeholder to Capella’s vacant seat. Officials designed the new rules to avoid the public outcry that followed the swift appointment of Steve Theriot in January 2010 to fill in for Aaron Broussard, who resigned the parish presidency amid a federal investigation of his administration.

Parish Clerk Eula Lopez laid out the timeline Wednesday to make the appointment. Council members have until April 15 to nominate potential successors, who then have four days to submit resumés. Two special council meetings can be scheduled April 21 and April 25 to review nominees’ qualifications, and the council is expected to choose one at its next regular meeting on May 11.

Should a selection not be made by May 12, according to the regulations, the governor will make the choice, Lopez said.

After all is said and done, the council will have to repeat the process for the 1st District seat. Lopez said incumbent Chris Roberts is expected to resign at the April 20 council meeting and be sworn into the Division A seat, which he also won by a wide margin. He succeeds John Young, who resigned in October after being elected parish president.

“The clock starts ticking as soon as they submit their resignations,” Lopez said.

. . . . . . . .

VOTE FOR: The Bureau of Governmental Research on Tuesday endorsed four tax renewals that Jefferson Parish voters will face on the April 30 ballot:

A 3.5-mill property tax for juvenile services.

A 2.26-mill property tax for animal shelters, human services and public health.

A half-cent sales tax for public education.

A 5-mill property tax for drainage.

All are levied parishwide except for the drainage tax, which excludes Grand Isle.

. . . . . . . .

VOTE EARLY: Early voting for the April 30 tax referendums begins Saturday and runs through April 23. It will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the registrar of voters offices:

Elmwood. Suite 502, Joseph S. Yenni Building, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd.

Marrero. Suite C-2, Charles B. Odom Service Center, 5001 West Bank Expressway.

Both offices are closed, however, on Sunday and Good Friday.

Fair Use Notice

This site occasionally reprints copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues and to highlight the accomplishments of our affiliates. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is available without profit. For more information go to: US CODE: Title 17,107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.