Patterson city retirees honored

After 38 years of service to the Patterson community, City Manager Dave Lowery has retired. Police Chief Patrick LaSalle presented Lowery keys to the city at Tuesday night’s council meeting. From left are Larry Mendoza, councilman; Russel Cremaldi, city attorney; Lowery; LaSalle; and Rodney Grogan, mayor.
(The Daily Review Photo by Preston Gill)


An era has come to an end and 38 years of public service in the city of Patterson was recognized at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting as the council and mayor acknowledged the retirement of City Manager Dave Lowery.
Lowery was the first of two Patterson icons given symbolic keys to the city as they are retiring and leaving their posts. The other was Tommy Minton, longtime Patterson High School athletic director and head football coach.
Lowery retired at the end of January and Minton will retire on the last day of February. Minton is expected to formally announce he is accepting a head coach position at a private school.
Mayor Rodney Grogan expressed his appreciation for Lowery’s dedication and contributions to the city over a career lasting nearly four decades.
“There was much knowledge that left out the door on the 31st,” Grogan said of Lowery’s departure from city service.
Many of Lowery’s duties will be assumed by Ryan Aucoin who is the city’s Community Development and Affairs director.
Minton said it had been an honor for him to have been at the helm of the Lumberjack program and “worked with the youth of this city.”
“For 16 years I got to work in a job I love and work with people I love,” Minton said. “But I had to make a decision that is best financially for my family.”
Grogan thanked Minton for helping so many young boys and girls that went through his program to become outstanding men and women.
A pair of local social services programs that are in need of support and assistance were discussed during the meeting.
Parish President Paul Naquin and Councilman Steve Bierhorst, who is also Patterson public works director, said the Center of Hope program in Centerville plans a new building. The organization provides skill training and work through a recycling program for intellectually challenged adults.
The center is $100,000 short of the $450,000 needed to build what Bierhorst said would be “a plain-Jane building.”
Naquin said the parish had put up $200,000 for the project so far and the center had raised about $150,000.
“We are asking parish mayors to come up with $100,000 to get the project funded,” Naquin said
Bierhorst said the parish is suggesting a novel way to accomplish this goal with minimal financial pain to the city budget.
The parish will put up the final $100,000 and is asking the cities to commit to paying them back the money in a five-year span. The amount each city is asked to contribute is based on its proportional size to the other cities in the parish.
Patterson would be asked to contribute $18,210 ($3,642 yearly); Morgan City $36,960 ($7,392 yearly); and Berwick $14,740 ($2,948 yearly).
The center has 28 intellectually challenged workers but that number could increase to 35 with a new building, Bierhorst said.
Veteran Curtis Milton made a pitch to get more veterans to use the veterans’ services in Franklin in an effort to show how important the services are to the community. He said there is talk of shutting the building down along with the services offered there, but he hopes with the support of the cities and veterans it can be kept open.
The Franklin Veterans Administration office offers counseling and support for veterans, particularly those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, he said.
“We hope someone will go to bat for us and help keep this facility open,” Milton said.
Chief of Police Patrick LaSalle said he was OK with granting permission for the Krewe of Amani to have its annual Patterson parade at 2 p.m. April 3.
Permission was also granted to the American Legion to hold a can shake for its scholarship fund from 8:30 a.m. to noon March 22 at Catherine and Main streets.

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