Maurice says goodbye to two long-time aldermen

Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot (left) helps say goodbye to out-going Aldermen Gary Villien (middle) and Darin Desormeaux during Wednesday’s meeting.

MAURICE — The Village of Maurice said goodbye Wednesday to two men who have served the board of aldermen for a combined 24 years.
Elected at the same time in 2002, Alderman Darin Desormeaux and Alderman Gary Villien attended their final meeting Wednesday. Each served three terms for the village. Both men chose not to seek re-election.
Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot, who is one of three mayors, along with Barbara Picard and Bob Ferguson, under whom Desormeaux and Villien served, said the two will be greatly missed.
“We want to thank them for what they have done for the village,” Theriot said during a presentation at the meeting. “I have relied on them for various things.”
Villien said he will look back fondly on his 12 years in the alderman seat.
“It has been an honor to serve the Village of Maurice,” Villien said. “We have a good community and a fine staff (at city hall). I had the pleasure of working under three administrations. Barbara (Picard) did a great job getting the village to a good point. Bob (Ferguson) advanced it a little more. Now Wayne (Theriot) has taken it a step further.”
Desormeaux said it is hard to believe that the years are gone.
“I came in 12 years ago and I can’t understand how time just flies,” Desormeaux said.
Desormeaux stressed he will take away the ability to be patient from his time on the board.
“I was a young boy when I came in,” he said. “When you make a decision (in life), you can make it pretty quick. When you get into government, nothing goes quickly. You are at least 30 days away from anything happening. There was definitely a learning curve.”
Desormeaux thanked those who helped him grow as an elected official.
“Mrs. Barbara took me under her wing,” Desormeaux said. “She guided me along the way. One thing about her, and I really appreciate people like this, is that there is no gray area. It’s black or white. You might not get the answer that you were hoping for, but you get the right answer. Mr. Wayne (Theriot) has this same quality, as well.
“As my career went along, that’s the way I tried to do things.”
Desormeaux extended a special thank you to those who brought him to office in the first place, joking that they may see him again.
“I want to thank the voters in the Village of Maurice for giving me the opportunity to serve three terms,” Desormeaux said. “I’m young enough. Maybe I’ll come back.
“Thank you.”
Villien echoed those same sentiments of gratitude toward those he served.
“It’s been a good experience and I appreciate it,” Villien said.
Voters elected a new board of aldermen on Nov. 4. That includes two new members, Ken Picard and Lynn Howell.
Alderwoman Phyllis Johnson will be the lone returnee to the board, when members are officially sworn in on Jan. 4. She said Wednesday that it has been a pleasure serving alongside Desormeaux and Villien.
“I thank you both so very much,” Johnson told the two. “I know we will be able to turn to you both for guidance in the future.”

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