Letters to Leaders

Letters to Leaders

A MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, DECEMBER 2, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Earlier this week, we welcomed the end of the 2020 hurricane season. What a season it was! We also announced the approval of our updated, multijurisdictional 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. This approval secures St. Tammany’s eligibility for Hazard Mitigation grants administered by FEMA including: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) post-disaster-funding; pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), a nationally competitive program for mitigation projects and planning grants; and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA), a nationally competitive program for Flood Mitigation projects. Continued eligibility for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants administered by FEMA — both pre and post-disaster — is vitally important to the resilience of our community.

The significant amount of coordinated work that went into updating this plan cannot be understated, especially in an environment where COVID-19 was a factor. Several municipalities as well as our citizens — through public input meetings — worked together to formulate, update, and prepare the document. The approved, participating jurisdictions include: unincorporated St. Tammany Parish, the Town of Abita Springs, the City of Covington, the Village of Folsom, the Town of Madisonville, the City of Mandeville, the Town of Pearl River, the City of Slidell, and the Village of Sun.

I want to thank everyone involved for making sure St. Tammany remains prepared with a working plan moving forward. You may view the plan here.

As we all know, our COVID-19 numbers are increasing. We, like the hospitals in our area, are closely watching these numbers. We can all help to flatten this new curve, contribute to the recovery, and help our hospitals manage the care of all patients by taking personal responsibility and doing simple things. We all need to continue to physically distance, avoid large gatherings — especially gatherings with people you have not been in contact with recently. If you are out in the community wear a mask — especially when inside local businesses and restaurants. I will reiterate what we have been saying, and that is that I continue to work to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy.  I ask each and every citizen to continue to work with me to achieve this balance. I hope each one of you will continue to help me spread this message.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

A Message from the Parish President , November 25, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I want to wish all of you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. As I said in my statement early last week, we know these holidays are going to be different due to COVID-19. Based on the Governor’s announcement yesterday of a move to a modified Phase 2, we now have some idea of just how different.

The State of Louisiana is facing an increase that, if not addressed, could lead to further increases and strains on our hospitals. We are back to flattening another curve. St. Tammany Parish’s Percent Positivity Rate is above five percent for the last two reported weeks. For the week of 11/5- 11/11 we stand at 6.20 % and for the week of 11/12- 11/18, reported today, we stand at 8.10%. With this information in-hand, it is evident that in addition to asking citizens to wear their masks, physically distance, and avoid large gatherings with people from outside their own households, we can add that we should avoid the scheduling of public events and festivities that will draw large numbers of people. Hopefully by discouraging such events we will see a stabilization of our numbers.

The Governor has provided a synopsis of the major changes to Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions here. In addition, the St. Tammany Economic Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Council has updated our Live Safe. Work Safe. Shop Safe. Action Plan to reflect these changes. You may view it here.

I again want to thank Dr. Charles Preston for joining me to provide a video message urging best preventative practices during the holiday season. You may see and share both messages here: President Cooper PSA , Dr. Preston PSA .

I continue to work to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy, and I ask each and every one of you to join me in appealing to every single citizen to continue to work to achieve this balance by taking the steps necessary to slow the spread of this virus. It is imperative that we take personal responsibility to protect ourselves, one another, and most importantly — the most vulnerable among us.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving!

Read more...

A Message from The Parish President - November 19, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Good Afternoon,

The holiday season is essentially upon us, and unfortunately we are simultaneously managing a rise in COVID-19 numbers throughout not only the State, but the nation as well. We have known since the start of 2020 that COVID-19 would impact all aspects of our lives, and the holiday season is no exception. The good news is we are all aware of the mitigation measures in place, recommended by medical professionals, and that will help us slow the spread of the virus. As we have done through every new phase of reopening, we will exercise these measures through the holiday season. Our goal is — and always has been — to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy, and to do our parts to ensure our hospitals have ample resources to treat not only COVID-19 patients, but also patients who have other needs as well.

Each one of us can play a part in helping to protect the most vulnerable among us through personal responsibility. I ask every one of you to help me spread this message. We can do this with a few simple steps. Please keep COVID-19 protective measures in mind when planning your holiday. Physically distance, avoid large gatherings — especially gatherings with people you have not been in contact with recently. If you are out in the community wear a mask — especially when inside businesses and restaurants. Our local businesses need us all to help them mitigate the spread within their establishments so their staffs can stay healthy, and their doors can remain open under Phase 3 guidelines. Thank you all for your help in getting these messages out. Dr. Charles Preston was kind enough to tape a Public Service Announcement (PSA) as a companion to one of my own, to augment this message. You may view them here: President Cooper PSA, Dr. Charles Preston PSA. Please feel free to share these links.

The subject of Mardi Gras planning has been at the forefront this week. I remain in coordinated discussions with the municipalities, public agencies, and medical professionals of St. Tammany as we make decisions to determine the safest possible way to go forward with Mardi Gras 2021. No decisions have been firmly made because much discussion remains. Because of the uncertainty, we will continue to monitor how COVID-19 impacts the Parish and base our decisions on what’s best for the entire community.  May you all have a safe, happy Thanksgiving. Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

Parish Updates 10.16.2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

Good Morning, 

St. Tammany Parish is moving in the right direction. For the third week straight, our percent positivity rate has stayed below 5% — 3.10 % to be exact.  This is a testament to our citizens, who continue to wear masks in public, practice precautions, and listen to the advice of medical professionals. As we see these numbers continue to decline, I am hopeful we will continue to see our continued sense of normalcy increase.

Early voting is underway in St. Tammany for the Nov. 3, 2020 Presidential General and Open Congressional Primary Election. Early voting runs from Friday, October 16th through Tuesday, October 27th at three locations: St. Tammany Parish Council Chambers in Mandeville; St. Tammany Parish Justice Center, Covington; and the Towers Building, Slidell. Complete details may be found at www.stprov.org . The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana offers a guide to the seven constitutional amendments and one proposition on the statewide ballot. The guide is available for review here .

All non-emergency offices of St. Tammany Parish Government will be closed on election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

I sincerely wish all of you a safe and happy weekend.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Stay safe!

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

Letters to leaders Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2020

As we enter into this Columbus Day weekend, we are thankful that it appears we’ll be spared the most intense and damaging effects of Hurricane Delta. As we have in the past, we are still watching the system for any periphery impacts, and we are keeping our fellow Louisianans and neighboring Texans in our thoughts and prayers.

In addition to our emergency response to Delta, we have had a significant movement on the COVID-19 front. I announced Wednesday, October 7, 2020 that bars may reopen in St. Tammany for on-premises consumption, under Phase 3 guidelines as our percent positivity rate has fallen below 5% for two consecutive weeks. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, from 9/17 – 9/23, St. Tammany Parish had a Percent Positivity Rate of 3.5 %; and for the week of 9/24 – 9/30, 4.30 %. I submitted an opt-in request to the Governor’s Office Tuesday, October 6, 2020 in anticipation of the percent positivity rate in St. Tammany falling below the required threshold for bars to reopen under Governor Edwards’ Phase 3 requirements. Because I submitted the request in advance, I received official approval from the Louisiana State Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control very shortly after our numbers were released, and subsequently signed an amended Executive Order reflecting the change, so that our bars could resume service immediately. Opening another sector of our economy is a big win for us, and for the businesses who are now open to the public again. Complete guidelines for bars may be found here.

Per Phase 3 guidelines — which were extended by Governor Edwards today through Friday, November 6, 2020 — if at any time St. Tammany Parish’s percent positivity rate subsequently exceed 10% positivity for two consecutive weeks, bars in St. Tammany Parish will then be closed for on-premises consumption, unless and until the percent positivity decreases to 5% or less for two consecutive weeks.

I am hoping everyone stays safe during Hurricane Delta. Our Crisis Action Team will monitor the storm until the threat has passed. For continuously updated storm information, please visit: www.stpgov.org/storm.

As always, thank you for your continued leadership.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

Parish Updates 10.02.2020

Friday, October 2, 2020

After consultation with the St. Tammany Parish Council leadership and my executive staff about the fiscal challenge we face, and what steps we will take to review our current finances, revenue streams and expenses to determine viable solutions, I announced at the October St. Tammany Parish Council meeting that we will form a Revenue Review Committee to seek out ways to meet this challenge. Representation on this committee will include: our Parish-wide elected officials who represent their own agencies and receive money through Parish Government; citizens of St. Tammany; and representatives from law enforcement, the school system, municipalities, non-profits, business organizations, recreation districts, fires districts, and the Northshore Home Builders Association.

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the St. Tammany Parish Council introduced two ordinances for adoption of the proposed 2021 Parish Operating Budget, and the proposed 2021 Parish Capital Improvement Budget. I have outlined in this budget several key initiatives including: the streamlining of public services to increase efficiency, save money, and better serve St. Tammany citizens; the restoration of trust between Parish Government and citizens through increased transparency and access to public officials; the update of the current comprehensive plan — last updated in 1999; and the creation of partnerships with local and State leaders on issues that impact all citizens, including infrastructure and economic development.

When I took the oath of office at the beginning of this year, I committed to providing a more streamlined and responsive government, to place sensible controls on unbridled development and avoid mistakes of the past, and to use our public monies wisely and efficiently on priorities which address our basic and most pressing needs. This year’s budget reflects the continued effort to improve the financial accountability of Parish Government and to meet the service demands of our citizens and the infrastructure needs of our Parish. Considering the economic uncertainties in our parish, our state, our nation, and our world, in the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, the proposed budget is conservative and fiscally prudent.

The Parish Council noted in their October 1, 2020 Council agenda, that they will hold a public hearing in Council Chambers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2020 to review the proposed Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets prior to adoption. The Parish’s paperless version of the proposed budgets, is available for review online on the St. Tammany Parish Government website at this link.

As always, thank you for your continued leadership.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President
Read more...

Resources

Contact Us

  • Administrative Complex
    21490 Koop Dr.
    Mandeville, LA 70471
    985.898.2700

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday through Friday
    8:00am to 4:30pm