Andy Jehan put himself forward following the resignation of Constable Chris Taylor, who led the nominations meeting on Wednesday evening.
Mr Taylor was ordered to stand down by the Royal Court after it deemed him ‘not fit for office’ following a dangerous-driving conviction and subsequent attempt to use parish funds to cover his legal fees.
Mr Jehan worked for Jersey Post for almost four decades and served as a Procureur du Bien Public of St John for eight years as well as being a member of the parish’s honorary police force. The 57-year-old was elected unopposed as Constable after no one else came forward.
Speaking to the JEP, Mr Jehan said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that the parishioners have put their trust in me. I hope that, as we come out of Covid, I can take the parish forward.’
When asked whether trust needed to be restored within the parish system, Mr Jehan said: ‘Across the Island trust in politicians needs restoring. I intend to be open, I intend to listen and I intend to communicate and I would encourage all politicians to do the same. We all have to look forward. We need to work together and take the parish forward. People used to speak about St John for its recycling scheme, for its village improvement project. We need people to talk about St John for the right reasons again.
‘Chris provided many valuable years of service to the parish and people should not forget that. I am looking to do my very best in engaging with the community.’
At the last general election 14 of the 49 States Members were elected unopposed – of those 11 were Constables, with only St Mary holding a contested Constable election. A referendum held during the 2014 election campaign, on whether Constables should have an automatic right to sit in the States, resulted in 62% voting to keep the them, of 24,130 votes cast.
In his speech to parishioners on the night, Mr Jehan thanked his proposer, Kevin Keen, and the nine people who seconded his nomination. He also thanked his wife, Judy, and family for their ‘continued support’ throughout his career and voluntary work.
He said he would aim to meet as many parishioners as possible in the coming days, weeks and months, to hear their views on St John.
‘While I will take my States responsibilities seriously, my focus will be on St John and connecting our parish,’ the Constable-elect said. He added that the parish team had done an ‘excellent job’ in the past 12 months keeping the municipality running during the ‘difficult’ pandemic and said he hoped that there would be a ‘return to normal in the not-too-distant future’.
Mr Jehan also paid tribute to Mr Taylor’s ‘valuable service to the parish, not just in your current role, but over the many years you have served St John in our parish’s important honorary system’. This included ‘finally getting the playing fields passed for the school and the much-needed affordable housing’, which Mr Jehan said he would ‘work hard’ to ensure were delivered as soon as possible.
Mr Jehan ended his speech with one commitment to the parish and parishioners: ‘It’s the same commitment I made in 2007 when elected as Procureur, and it’s quite simple – I commit to doing my very best for you all.’
His speech was greeted with applause by the socially distanced gathering in the parish hall.
He is due to be sworn in in the Royal Court on 30 April.