Cointment inaugurated Ascension Parish President
"I think parish president is the toughest political job in America," Parish Assessor M. J. "Mert" Smiley said near the beginning of the inauguration ceremony for Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment on Monday, January 6, 2020 at Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La.
Smiley also acknowledged that Cointment worked for eight years at winning the election, and that it was no sure, easy road.
"Clint, I know you can handle it, and I know you're going to do a good job," he said. "It's a great day in Ascension Parish. We're going to have a team all working together trying to make this place the best place in the State of Louisiana to live."
Pastor Scott Bledsoe gave the invocation to the large audience gathered. Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. District Attorney Ricky Babin facilitated the event.
Many parish leaders spoke on behalf of Cointment, including La. Senator Ed Price and Sheriff Bobby Webre. Price introduced the new parish council members and their spouses. New council members were then sworn in as a group by Judge Alvin Turner Jr.
Ascension Clerk of Court Bridget Hanna introduced President Cointment. "I'm looking forward to working with all of you," she said to the council.
Judge Jason Verdigets then swore in Cointment. The crowd rose for a standing ovation.
A characteristically soft-spoken Cointment thanked all the speakers for making it a special day. He told the audience that the white lilies they may have noticed upon entering the room were a symbol of a new beginning.
"This new beginning would not be possible without the support of my family," he said. "And to my wife: thank you for always being there. The late nights, always on the phone, always supporting me in this political endeavor. It takes family.
"To my children, I hope one day you will understand the sacrifice of time for a better community and a better world."
He also thanked his mother and invoked his late father so that he may make him proud.
"I'm just ready to get to work," he said. " . . . On the promises that I made, knocking on the doors of our neighbors and friends."
He spoke of aiding traffic problems, drainage, recreation, and transparency. He said it was his responsibility to put citizens who elected him first.
"Two-thousand, twenty is a critical year for our parish."