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- Angel CortezAssistant Court Administrator125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Angel CortezAssistant Court Administrator
Angel is responsible for clerical functions related to maintaining good records, and assisting with any customer service needs.
She has been with City Hall since 2014.
A graduate of Riverside Academy in Reserve, Delgado and SLU in administrative studies, she brings experience in maintaining and processing applications from her work on a grant for Recruitment and Retention of Health Care Practitioners affected by Katrina areas.
She and her husband have 3 kids, when the family is not involved with extracurricular activities, they enjoy vacationing
- Carlene OttCourt Administrator125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Carlene OttCourt Administrator
Carlene Raiford Ott is responsible for maintaining and protecting the court records, collecting and disbursing all monies payable to the proper sources, while focusing on customer service and fiscal accountability.
She has held a number of positions at City Hall, coming first as a PHS Senior through Cooperative Office Education. Taking time out for SLU, motherhood along the way, she has worked over 30 years and multiple mayors.
She is a member of Bedico Baptist Church and enjoys the craft of painting old fence boards.
- Cheryl HooverFinance Manager125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Cheryl HooverFinance Manager
Cheryl Ragan Hoover is over all finances, explaining that the city has some thirty-four active bank accounts. Some, by ordinance, must be kept.
Each grant requires separate tracking as well as each department such as water, sewer, mausoleum, cemetery, sales tax, investment accounts, equipment, police and fire millage, etc.
Ponchatoula also keeps an emergency account and at a statewide seminar when the speaker asked, “How many municipalities have such an account?” - Hoover was surprised to learn she was the only one to raise a hand. Unfortunately, many learned too late from Katrina.
She is also over automatic withdrawals, bank reconciliations and preparation for annual budgets and audits and assists with monthly billing and Accounts Payable.
Hoover studied Accounting and has worked at City Hall since 2006, bringing over thirty-one years of experience from her work at Sam Yawn and Yeoman’s Accounting.
She and husband, Russell, recently celebrated their forty-third anniversary and are parents of two and grandparents of six. Members of St. Joseph Catholic Church, they enjoy cooking, gardening, fishing and spending time with family and friends.
- Chris WinburnBuilding Inspector & Code Enforcement125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Chris WinburnBuilding Inspector & Code Enforcement
Chris Winburn is the person to see for any building or renovation permits needed inside the city limits. The venture begins by providing him with a set of building plans and a plot plan, showing how the house will be situated on the property. Using the International Residential Building Code adopted by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Council (LSUCC), he directs the builder to meet codes.
Winburn continues to visit the site as work begins and progresses to perform plumbing and slab inspections, closed wall inspections and up to the final inspection before the occupant moves in.
After ten years of electrical background in the plants, he came to City Hall where he earned his certification as Building Official through the International Code Council and has been in this position since 2005.
For continuing education, Winburn is a member of the LSUCC and Building Officials Association of Louisiana (BOAL).
Since 1999, he has been a member of the Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department. He and wife, Jennifer, are parents of two, a son who is going into electrical high-line technology, and a daughter, going into early elementary education.
- Faith AllenDowntown Ponchatoula Revitalization Program Director110 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula, LA 70454
- Lisa JonesHuman Resources Manager125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Lisa JonesHuman Resources Manager
Lisa M. Jones condensed her job description as “Putting the right people in the right places” but a closer look revealed just what a task that is.
It’s looking after the needs of the employees as far as jobs and benefits such as health, medical, and life insurance. With health care constantly changing, she makes sure the city complies with government regulations and each year oversees the submission of quotes for individuals and the city. .
She helps individuals work through any problems that develop, whether job-related or personal and helped develop the new employee handbook which was submitted to the City Council to vote on. It describes benefits, policy procedures, and what’s expected. The employee, whether currently working or new, looks it over and signs off on it.
Jones is continuing to develop another manual with job descriptions. Responsible for positions to fill and hiring new contacts, she looks for a high-integrity level and what residents think of as honest and hardworking.
Originally from Arabi, she graduated from Andrew Jackson High School and studied Human Resources at SLU. To keep her certification current, she has been a member of the Society of Human Resource Managers for 25 years and brings twenty-two years’ experience from Bradkin.
Pottery-making started as a hobby but now her art is in demand at shows and she gives 20% of each sale to schools for their art programs.
- Lynette AllenCommunity Center Director300 North 3rd St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Lynette AllenCommunity Center Director
Lynette Allen oversees the scheduling and booking of the Community Center for a wide variety of groups and activities ranging from family events to school and large corporation training.
Some need only a room or rooms upstairs for smaller meetings while others need only the gym area. Still, others having conferences require both the gym for general meetings and upstairs rooms for break-out sessions. Weddings, funerals, anniversaries and birthday parties can all be accommodated.
With the Council on Aging housed in the same building and daily meals provided, Allen also assists the Seniors and schedules times for other special Senior Adult activities from regular exercise classes, games and walking to parish-wide SALT-TRIAD special meetings with meals.
For youth, she reserves the building for AAU basketball games and some Sundays for community DART basketball games. However, those participating in such physical activities must provide their insurance.
Allen worked in City Hall in Customer Service some 10 years before moving to Atlanta where she was with Safeco Insurance. Back here for over 15 years, she maintains her office in the Community Center yet is often on-call at City Hall when needed.
The daughter of Harold and Barbara Jackson and granddaughter of Vernon Haney, Ms. Allen attended Southern University and graduated from John Jay Beauty College. She and her husband, Paris, have five children and one granddaughter and are active in Beacon Light Ministries in Hammond.
- Melanie ScottAccounts Payable125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Melanie ScottAccounts Payable
While Melanie C. Scott serves as a back-up for front office staff, her main position is Accounts Payable and Purchasing meaning all bills come across her desk whether for office supplies, vehicles, water, sewer, and the police department to name a few.
From Amite, she graduated from both Loranger High School and the Vo-Tech School with a degree as Account Clerk.
Beginning her career with T. H. Burt and Sons in Accounts Receivable, she went on to the Bradken steel foundry for twenty-two years where she managed time cards, taxes, retirement, and general payroll entries for approximately 250-350 people weekly.
At City Hall since January 2017, Scott has brought a vast experience of working under extreme time constraints and her continued desire of serving the people of Ponchatoula.
She and family, are active in Oak Grove Church of Christ and enjoy road trips, zip lines, and whitewater rafting.
- Nikki JamesFront Office Associate125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Nikki JamesFront Office Associate
Nikki James is usually the first contact the public has with City Hall whether by phone or in person, accepting utility or tax payments, handling public record requests, renewing permits for new and old construction, multi-tasking as she answers questions or find the person on staff who can.
- Ramona "Tara" UmbachTax Collector125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Ramona "Tara" UmbachTax Collector
Ramona Tara’ Umbach serves in several roles when it comes to permits, taxes and record keeping.
She assists new businesses in filling out applications for business permits and each January sends existing businesses renewal forms for their business taxes.
Downloading local property tax information from the parish assessor’s office, each December she sends Ponchatoula residents their city property tax notices.
While the Strawberry Festival Board handles permits for area non-profit groups inside Memorial Park, Mrs. Umbach issues itinerant permits for outside vendors, abiding by state-set vendor permits. To centralize these vendors, former mayor Julian Dufreche set standards still in place: The outside vendor must set up on private property that has to be in the C-2 commercial zone.
A local native and graduate of Ponchatoula High School, Mrs. Umbach is the daughter of Raymond and Shirley Dietz and has always worked in the field of finance. She had been in Savings and Loans for eleven years when board member Ron Morgan recommended her for Tax Collector for the city, a position she has held for over twenty-five years. To stay current, she is a member of the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators.
In their personal life, she and husband Rickey are active in First Baptist Church, parents of sons, Ryan (Chelsea) and Seth, and enjoying grandchildren.
- Rhonda SheridanExecutive Assistant to the Mayor125 West Hickory St, Ponchatoula LA 70454Rhonda SheridanExecutive Assistant to the Mayor
Rhonda Sheridan's responsibilities are as many and diverse as her title implies and each day is different. For starters, she is responsible for on-going grant work, capital outlay projects and the mayor’s appointments.
While the city has had no cemetery plots available for ten years, all cemetery questions are still addressed to her. She keeps a list of anyone wanting to buy or sell a plot and helps families (especially out-of-towners) locate existing plots along with providing maps.
She coordinates events such as kick-off royal toasts that are part of Strawberry Festival, Krewe of Erin, Krewe of Omega, Leadership Tangipahoa, USS Ponchatoula Shipmates, etc., preparing gifts bags and honorary citizenships. Sheridan arranges for a gift basket and a certificate from the mayor to honor each resident having a one-hundredth birthday.
As an administrator for Mayor’s Court, she works with the mayor, the magistrate, the police chief, and the court administrators voluntarily. All reporting goes to the Louisiana Supreme Court, State Police, State of Louisiana and the Department of Motor Vehicles. With laws changing so rapidly, she stays updated with the latest in technology.
Sheridan began laying the groundwork for her present position right after graduating from Ponchatoula High School when she earned her court stenographer license and worked for Judge Bruce Bennett for nine years. After time-off for parent care, she served fifteen years as a paralegal for Attorney Tom Waterman who was also the city attorney.
She’s held her current position for nine years and has been Secretary and Treasurer for Wadesboro Catholic Cemetery also for the same length of time.
As a 2012 graduate of Leadership Tangipahoa she has served on its board of directors for over four years and in 2016 was its chairperson, believing in the life-changing organization with a passion.
For three years, she has served on the Westminster Place Apartments Board and is currently serving on the Tangipahoa Economic Development Board.
To relax, she and husband Mike enjoy their camp on the Tangipahoa River.
- Robert F. "Bob" ZabbiaMayor
Robert F. “Bob” Zabbia, a lifelong resident of Ponchatoula, brings to the mayor’s office over forty years of business and administrative experience dealing with the workings of governments at all levels—local, parish, state, and federal. This role has allowed him to see first-hand how other cities solve their problems.
He served twelve years as a member of the Board of North Oaks Health Systems until his retirement in 2010. Mayor Zabbia also served on the Board of Parish National Bank for eight years prior to the sale to Whitney.
Mayor Zabbia graduated from Ponchatoula High School in 1968 and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond in 1972 with a B.A. in Marketing. He has been married to the former Kim Howes since 1974. They have one daughter Kate Zabbia Stuart who, along with her husband JD and daughter Maggie, lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
He is a current member of the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce and a past member of the Ponchatoula Kiwanis Club. Mayor Zabbia also participates in as many community involvements as his schedule allows. He and his wife Kim are members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
“Ponchatoula is where we were born, where we grew up, where we were married, where we all went to school,” the Mayor added. “Kim, Kate, and I all graduated from PHS where Kim spent thirty-three years as an educator.
“Ponchatoula is where I have lived my life. I know what this city is, I know what it has been, and I know what it can still become.”
- Sissy FaganFront Office Associate125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454Sissy FaganFront Office Associate
Sissy Wall Fagan is usually the first contact the public has with City Hall whether by phone or in person, accepting utility or tax payments, handling public record requests, renewing permits for new and old construction, multi-tasking as she answers questions or find the person on staff who can.
A Springfield native, Fagan has worked for the city for over two years and brings eight years of banking experience as both teller and administrative assistant.
She and her family enjoy deer hunting and fishing in their spare time.
- Vergil SandiferDistrict E125 West Hickory St., Ponchatoula LA 70454