Former school teacher seeking Terrebonne council seat

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Former schoolteacher Gerald Michel tossed his hat in the ring for Terrebonne Parish Council District 3.

Michel said he intends to strengthen communication with constituents, many of whom he believes have experienced a disconnect with their council representative.

District 3 in Terrebonne Parish, currently represented by Councilman Gregg Hood, stretches roughly from St. Louis Canal Road to Bayou Cane and South Hollywood Road to Evergreen Drive in Houma. The district contains the Broadmoore, Oakshire, Bayou Cane, a small part of the Lisa Park neighborhoods, and some areas between Coteau Road and H. L Bourgeois High School.

Michel holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in education administration. He has had two careers: the first in education and, more recently, health care.

Michel’s teaching career began in Lafourche Parish public schools. He later moved to the Terrebonne system, then taught at Vandebilt High School.

While teaching at Vandebilt, Michel ran in 2001 for the District 3 seat on the Terrebonne Parish School Board and lost to Richard Jackson.

“Dicky’s a good guy,” Michel said. “He was my high school teacher.”

Michel’s second career is in health care. He has worked in a number of capacities – from health insurance, to hospice care to managing two pharmacies owned by his brother in Morgan City.

“I don’t consider myself a politician,” Michel said. “I consider myself a public servant no matter what job I do.”

Michel said he is intent on continuing the forward momentum experienced the past eight years by Parish President Michel Claudet’s administration.

Michel said a number of high-level parish administrators are nearing retirement, and the parish needs leaders in the transition.

The candidate vowed to ensure the Houma Fire Department, which he described as “stretched thin,” gets the needed resources to protect the City of Houma.

Michel said he would also advocate to have the speed limit on Martin Luther King Boulevard lowered, reasoning that 50 mph is too fast given the volume of traffic.

Improving communication with constituents is also vital to District 3, he said.

“There are many things that need to be done that I’m not even aware of. That’s why we need to communicate with the district,” Michel said. “I don’t claim to know everything that needs to be done. But communication with the district is of the upmost importance.”