Montoucet tries new way of serving
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Upon arriving at State Representative (District 42) Jack Montoucet’s home, the first thing one would notice is just how welcoming he and his wife, Sandra, are to guests. In fact, one easily gets the impression that anyone stopping by would get the same treatment.
“I’ve always felt that, and I’m not just referring to politics, that people can relate more to someone who looks them in the eye and shakes their hand,” said Montoucet.
Montoucet should know. He has spent the better part of his life working blue collar jobs and interacting with the small businessmen of Louisiana. His life experience, which is far too extensive to be written about in one article, has taken him from working in a machine shop with his father to serving his country in Vietnam to his present position as a state representative - with very many, equally important stops in between.
When speaking with Mr. Montoucet, it is obvious that he is a man with a very full plate.
“I felt this past session was a learning experience for me as well as many of the other new people present,” Montoucet said when asked about his first legislative session. “It was nice to get my feet wet and to meet all the people that I will be working with.”
When asked about his impressions of newly sworn in Governor Bobby Jindal, Montoucet seems to be very much looking forward to working with him.
“He seems like he will be a very good man to work with. I get the impression that he would be willing to work with us on many issues including the one’s we disagree on,” he said.
Of the things that concern Montoucet are how Louisiana helps out small to medium-size businesses and the improvement of our roads.
‘I’d think that improving our existing roads should be as important as building new ones,” he said. “I think anyone that has driven around our state would understand what I mean.”
“I also think that we dedicated too much time trying to help out the big corporations in our state while the small to medium size businesses in our state could use some help,” Montoucet said. “These people are the backbone of our state and they could use a tax break of some sort.”
One thing that is indisputable is that Montoucet cares deeply about his constituents and how they feel about the issues. In fact, he has created an advisory committee which consists of twenty representatives from around District 42 that he consults with regularly. He will even call them during a session to see where they stand on different issues if he isn’t sure.
“I’ve brought in these people to work with me so that people in the different areas of our district will have their voice heard,” he said. “That way I can hear what each persons concerns are and identify my priorities.”
Though politics have been on Montoucet’s forefront as of late, his business ventures are never far from his mind. He seems especially excited about his alligator meat packing plant and his recent venture into developing biofuels, which was discussed in depth in yesterday’s edition of The Daily Advertiser.
During a tour of both businesses yesterday, it is obvious that he is a hands-on boss who takes great pride in the products that they produce. He calls all of his employees by their first names and isn’t afraid to “get dirty”, as he puts it.
While his office and businesses are a big part of his life, it is obvious that his family and their support is possibly the most important thing to him.
“I don’t know what I’d do without this lady here,” he said referring to Sandra as she worked right next to him. “I love her more today than I did when we first met,” he smiled with a wink.
“You weren’t really that loving this morning,” she responded with a smile. “You were pretty grouchy this morning.”
All the joking aside, Montoucet credits Sandra with “keeping him on his toes” and “being the best politician in our family”.
“Without getting the right kind of support from home I don’t see how anyone could be successful,” he said.