What's next for Parish President Tommy Martinez?
GONZALES – After eight years, Parish President Tommy Martinez is stepping down and passing the reigns off to his successor Kenny Matassa.
Martinez has accomplished many things in his years as Parish President. Some of his most notable accomplishments are Lamar-Dixon, the new governmental complex, the continued building and implementation of infrastructure and recreation. And while these accomplishments may rank high among residents, Martinez added that the amicability and cooperation between the Council and Parish President is of his top achievements in the past eight years.
“The Parish President and the Council got along so well, and when everyone works together and pulls together, things get accomplished,” Martinez said. “I think that has happened.”
Though he completed most of the items from his “bucket list,” there are a few things that he said he didn’t get to finish, including getting the permits for Lowery Levee. He said he is confident that Matassa will continue to finish what he was not able to accomplish.
“I think [Matassa] knows government, he's been in city government for 20 years and of course he worked for Parish government. Those combined things, I think, will give him the tools that he will need to run Parish government, and work with the Council [to] get along and get projects moving.”
Though he is retiring from office, it may not be the last residents see of him, as he hopes to continue to be involved in the community.
“I hope to continue to do things with the community, volunteering – go wherever is needed. It's my home and I certainly want to work with the people of Ascension Parish to continue to make it a better place.”
Aside from community work, Martinez said he intends to travel. Upcoming plans include a cruise with his wife, Theresa, to the Bahamas, and maybe even a trip to Canada.
After that, who knows where his next journey will bring him.
“I am going to see how it goes and how retired life is treating me, then I will make a decision. I have some offers on the table and I may want to entertain those in the future or I may decide I want to stay home. We will see.”
Martinez's last day in office is Jan. 4, 2016.