Dove overwhelmingly approved as Terrebonne Parish President

State Rep. Gordon Dove will be the next Terrebonne Parish President.

Dove defeated Terrebonne Parish Councilman and fellow Republican Daniel “Danny” Babin in Saturday’s election with 60 percent of the vote. Dove’s inauguration is on Jan. 7 at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.

The next parish president was grateful for the public’s backing, and expressed hope for his work to win over even more people.

“I’m excited and I can’t thank the public enough for my supporters. And this is America, the people that didn’t support, I hope to gain their support as we move along,” Dove said.

Dove said that since winning the race, he has been riding around the parish, particularly in southern Terrebonne, to get a look at the flooding from this weekend’s storm. He said that while the rising waters and a tornado damaged southern Terrebonne, he’s glad to have not heard about any losses of the worst kind yet.

“What I’m hearing is nobody was injured, at least I hope they don’t end up finding anyone injured, because we can replace property. We can’t replace lives,” Dove said.

Dove is already looking at projects currently underway that will soon offer the community more protection.

“Next year the levees should be tied in and close to completion, if not completed, from Pointe-Aux-Chenes all the way to Falgout Canal Road, so that’s going to be huge to stop some of this high water,” he said.

Dove has been representing District 52 in the state legislature for the last 12 years. He is finishing his third and final term in Baton Rouge, and he said that he has worked closely with current Parish President Michel Claudet over the last eight years. Dove hopes to pick up where Claudet leaves off.

“I look forward to a clean transition with Michel Claudet. He’s done an astronomical, great job. I want to complete projects that he’s started, and of course I’ve got some I want to add of my own,” Dove said.

The next parish president sat in on his predecessor’s department head meeting on Monday. He said that he would put together transition teams to look at different issues in Terrebonne Parish. He did not predict any major changes at this time.

Dove stressed the importance of the coastal restoration effort in the Bayou Region, primarily the $103 million project to rebuild Whiskey Island and $385 million freshwater diversion lock system at the Houma Navigation Canal.

The state representative said he would fight to keep his seat on the Coastal Restoration Protection Authority.

He also focused on transportation projects in Terrebonne. Dove wants to extend Valhi Boulevard from Savanne Road to U.S. Highway 90 to help alleviate traffic on La. Highway 311.

He noted the slow process of major road construction in Louisiana, noting that he formally requested making Highway 311 four lanes from Savanne Road to St. Charles Street 12 years ago.

That project should go up to bid within the next two to three years, according to Dove.

The state representative said that he would run a fiscally sound government that will complete its projects. However, he stated that he will not increase or add new taxes to the parish, saying that the parish’s citizens have already stepped up enough to pay for coastal protection initiatives.

“We will run this parish with what we’ve got, because I think the people of Terrebonne have been taxed enough. And I think the people of Terrebonne, they’ve done more than their fair share,” he said.

Dove did not have any current plans for department head appointments, saying he would consider each department.

He noted the parish’s recent progress and said he trusts Claudet’s judgment in his appointments. While Dove is excited for his new opportunity, he knows that he will be reliant on an entire team of people to help the parish.

“It’s not the parish president that does everything in Terrebonne, it’s the people that work- employees, department heads- for the people of Terrebonne. It’s a concerted effort and we’re going to move it forward,” he said. •

Gordon Dove