New officials say It's 'new day' in St. Bernard Parish

New officials say It's a 'new day' in St. Bernard Parish

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Many say it's a new day in St Bernard Parish.

After months of headlines involving an indicted former parish president, new leadership took their oaths of office today, promising change.

It wasn't a clean slate, but almost.

The new leaders were sworn in at the old St Bernard parish courthouse, under a bright sky, and a promise of a new day.

"I believe we have officials throughout the parish with a vision to make it a better place to live, work, and visit," said new council member at large Kerri Callais, after being sworn.

Former parish president Dave Peralta, indicted in three parishes, was swept out in November elections, after allegations of everything from cyber-stalking, to malfeasance in office.

"I don't believe an incumbent has ever done that poorly in any Louisiana election," said St Bernard columnist Jimmy Delery.

Former council member Guy McInnis, who was frequently at odds with Peralta, is the new parish president.

"I believe it's a new day for St Bernard parish," McInnis said.

It was the theme of swearing in day. in fact, four of seven councilmembers, are brand new.

"It's a new day in St Bernard, and we will work hard to make sure the region knows what we have to offer," said district a council member Gillis McCloskey.

"The last few groups were about rebuilding, I think the time is now, to look to the future," said Callais.

With the focus now no longer surrounding the legality surrounding the parish president, the new parish president, and council believe there are lot of advantages to be exploited for St Bernard.

"We're five miles from Canal St., one of the safest communities, great police department, we have excellent schools best in the state...and we have a lovely vibrant community with affordable housing and real estate," said McCloskey.

While they work to re-image, they must also deal with a million dollar deficit.

"The pressing business is the budget. All communities are dealing with a declining budget," said McInnis.

But a new slate of elected officials sworn in today, believe it's time, for their parish to shine.

McInnis won the runoff, against Wayne Landry, garnering more than 5900 votes.  Peralta, lost in the primary,  after landing just 359 votes.

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