“I will always be indebted to the people of Rayne,” Roland Boudreaux told an overflow audience who gathered in the City Hall lobby Saturday afternoon to participate in his swearing-in ceremonies as Rayne mayor.
Boudreaux thanked the citizens for permitting him to serve 18 years as a member of the Acadia Parish School Board.
Referring to the tie covered with colorful buses he was wearing, Rayne’s new mayor explained his wife, Janet, presented it to him on the same date 18 years ago when he became a school board member.
“I’m wearing it for the last time today,” Boudreaux said of the tie which noted: “A child’s education is the best road to success.”
Commenting on his campaign to fill the remaining two-year term of Jim Petitjean, he noted, “It’s been overwhelming.”
He thanked Petitjean, retiring City Clerk Bobby Hebert and the city hall staff for their cooperation in making the transition. He also paused to thank former mayoral candidate Cheryl Richard Boudreaux, for her offer to share and meet with her supporters after she finished third in the November primary election. “They put us over the top,” remarked Boudreaux, who won the office by a 13-vote margin December 8. While acknowledging the obstacles, Boudreaux exclaimed, “The win was hugemonous”
He continued, “We’re here to work together for the common good,” as he spoke of his hope to work with the City Council. He promised a conservative stance as mayor, “but not by hurting (city) services.”
Boudreaux’s voice cracked as he thanked his wife for her support. “I have been blessed,” he commented, citing his health, friendships, faith and “most of all I have family.”
He closed his remarks with a quote: “What we do today hopefully will improve your life tomorrow.”
The ceremony opened with Deacon Mr. Tim Ledet offered an adaptation of the prayer offered by Archbishop John Carroll at the presidential inauguration of George Washington in 1789.
Attorney Andre Douget served as master of ceremonies and administered the oath of office to Boudreaux.
He recounted how he first met Boudreaux when he was an auto mechanic instructor at the vocational-technical school in Crowley where his father also taught.
“I know he loves Rayne,” said Douget, adding, “He brings a particular skill set and will build on what Jim Petitjean has done as mayor.
Of his friend, Douget said, “He is a man of great faith and a man of great loyalty.”
After the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy a reception held in the conference room of City Hall.