(Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version to include comments from Couhig.)
West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig announced this morning he will retire Dec. 10.
In an email blast, Couhig says he notified the West Feliciana Parish Council of his decision earlier this morning, months in advance of his departure, to allow plenty of time for the council to call for an election in November, and, if necessary, a December runoff.
“There are other people who can do a good job in this position and I encourage them to step forward in the coming months,” he says.
Couhig tells Daily Report he decided to step down at the end of this year because his current term would not have ended until December 2020, and he did not want to remain in office for two more years.
“I know it sounds crazy, it’s just time for me to retire and have some fun, spend more time with grandchildren,” he says. “It has nothing to do with anything other than it’s just time for me to go to the next phase of my life.”
Couhig says he never intended to be a career politician and wishes more elected officials viewed their jobs through the lens of community service instead of that of politics.
“I hate politics,” he says.
In his email, Couhig, who took office in December 2013, says in the more than four years since he took office he has helped streamline and modernize parish government, making it more transparent and business friendly. He also helped implement the parish’s new form of government and won a long-standing battle with the Louisiana Tax Commission to funnel a greater share of the taxes generated by the Entergy River Bend nuclear power plant to the parish.
“That will generate some 30 percent more taxes for the parish every year,” he says.
Read Couhig’s complete retirement announcement.