West Feliciana residents debate home-...

West Feliciana residents debate home-rule

There are 83 comments on the The Advocate story from Jun 12, 2013, titled West Feliciana residents debate home-rule. In it, The Advocate reports that:

A public hearing on a proposed plan to divide West Feliciana into four single-member parish council districts turned into a debate on the need for a home-rule government.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Advocate.

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Very Expensive

Oklahoma City, OK

#1 Jun 12, 2013
It appears that this new government is going to be very expensive. The Parish President will be making at least $120,000 per year. This does not include the expenses for his car, gas, insurance and other benefits.

I did not realize that I was also voting to change the Parish Districts. I do not believe that this Parish is 50% black but we are now going to be required to have 50% black representatiion. I do not understand why this is happening.

Why didn't the ballot say that it was going to be so much more expensive and such a drastic change in our representation.

I think those who were pushing this poor system of government kept this information from the voting public to confuse us. Why did the Police Jurors allow this on the ballot this way?
CitizenForAccoun tability

Marshall, TX

#2 Jun 13, 2013
Very Expensive wrote:
It appears that this new government is going to be very expensive. The Parish President will be making at least $120,000 per year. This does not include the expenses for his car, gas, insurance and other benefits.
I did not realize that I was also voting to change the Parish Districts. I do not believe that this Parish is 50% black but we are now going to be required to have 50% black representatiion. I do not understand why this is happening.
Why didn't the ballot say that it was going to be so much more expensive and such a drastic change in our representation.
I think those who were pushing this poor system of government kept this information from the voting public to confuse us. Why did the Police Jurors allow this on the ballot this way?
The Home Rule Charter was written by 11 West Feliciana Parish citizens interested in improving their community. ALL of the meetings were open to the public. Several articles appeared in the local paper encouraging people to attend the meetings. The FULL HRC, complete with the information about salaries for councilmen AND the Parish President, was published in that same newspaper as well as on the parish's website. You could even go to the PJ office to get a hard copy of the document.

Do I agree with 100% of the document, no. But there will never be a document to appease 100% of the residents of this parish. Everyone in this parish should have gotten involved in the writing process BEFORE it was voted on. If you did not, that is YOUR fault. You can't scream unfair if things were done fairly. Don't trust others to make the decisions about your future, get involved and help make those decisions yourself!

The voters have cast their ballot. The measure was approved and should be implemented. You can't cry foul because you don't like the outcome of a legally held election.
w1

Oklahoma City, OK

#3 Jun 13, 2013
This parish will be run under the home charter by Walter Oliveaux, Ken Dawson, and Ambrose Simms. Lord help us! And there will be nothing we can do about it. At least with the police jury we can vote them out and start over. Keep the PJ and we have a say so in WF.
WF Citizen

United States

#4 Jun 13, 2013
w1 wrote:
This parish will be run under the home charter by Walter Oliveaux, Ken Dawson, and Ambrose Simms. Lord help us! And there will be nothing we can do about it. At least with the police jury we can vote them out and start over. Keep the PJ and we have a say so in WF.
If you read the HRC, there are provisions to remove a councilman. And I would venture a guess that the process would be easier than with the police jury system.

The citizens of the parish will VOTE for the best candidate, much the same as they voted for the current jury. Heck some of the same faces could be elected to the council. No one will just be appointed as you are eluding to.

I wish people would stop resorting to scare tactics and stick to the facts.
Fact Checker

Saint Francisville, LA

#5 Jun 13, 2013
1) The voting districts will be 50/50 when it comes to minority/majority districts; right now you have 3 minority districts and 4 majority districts. That is very little change, and just because a district a “minority” district does not necessarily mean that you will have a “black” representative, same goes for a “majority” district. John Kean, who is a white male, was elected from a minority district and Ken Dawson, who was a black male, was elected from a majority district when he was on the Jury.

2) Every full time official has an office car that they can use to go to and from work and use for their official duties, insurance, retirement, and have a expense account. That does not mean they get a open check book and are allowed to use the car and public monies for gas to go on vacation, they have to report EVERYTHING and their books are audited every year. This complaint is simply a red herring to get the ill-informed worked up.

3) Yes, the position is likely to pay $120,000 a year as it is going to based off of the salaries of the Sherriff assessor and clerk. However, it should be noted that the Jury pay will be cut almost in half.

4) All positions have term limits, so the good news is you won’t have to worry about “voting them out” they will term out. As far as the three you have mentioned, if they get elected so be it, the CITIZENS of this parish will have a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice , unlike now when it comes to the Parish Manager, we have almost NO voice in who the Jury selects. In addition, if you think that Sims has the popularity to win you are fooling yourself. I don't even think Dawson could at this point.
Not that different

Saint Francisville, LA

#6 Jun 13, 2013
Things really aren't going to change much.

1) There will be 4 districts instead of 7.

2) Instead of electing 1 official to represent you, you will be voting for 3 officials. You are actually represented MORE.

3) The Parish President will take over some of the duties from the Jury, the Jury will still have to vote on and approve the majority of the issues. Basically it stream lines the process, all major issues still go in front of the Jury. Think of it like the President of the United States and Legislature branch. For example. let’s say that the Hospital Board decided they want to buy more land from the Parish. The Parish Counsel (charter version of the Jury) will still have to approve the sale, the PP cannot just sell. The PP cannot enter in leases without the approval of the Counsel either.

4) There are now term limits, so you won't have a Juror sit in office for 20+ years. They have two 6 year terms and then they have to sit out a term. If I'm not mistaking they could run again after sitting.
LOL

United States

#7 Jun 13, 2013
Fact Checker wrote:
1) The voting districts will be 50/50 when it comes to minority/majority districts; right now you have 3 minority districts and 4 majority districts. That is very little change, and just because a district a “minority” district does not necessarily mean that you will have a “black” representative, same goes for a “majority” district. John Kean, who is a white male, was elected from a minority district and Ken Dawson, who was a black male, was elected from a majority district when he was on the Jury.
2) Every full time official has an office car that they can use to go to and from work and use for their official duties, insurance, retirement, and have a expense account. That does not mean they get a open check book and are allowed to use the car and public monies for gas hto go on vacation, they have to report EVERYTHING and their books are audited every year. This complaint is simply a red herring to get the ill-informed worked up.
3) Yes, the position is likely to pay $120,000 a year as it is going to based off of the salaries of the Sherriff assessor and clerk. However, it should be noted that the Jury pay will be cut almost in half.
4) All positions have term limits, so the good news is you won’t have to worry about “voting them out” they will term out. As far as the three you have mentioned, if they get elected so be it, the CITIZENS of this parish will have a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice , unlike now when it comes to the Parish Manager, we have almost NO voice in who the Jury selects. In addition, if you think that Sims has the popularity to win you are fooling yourself. I don't even think Dawson could at this point.
Who do you think could? In my opinion Dawson Is the only one that I would even consider! I am white! He would be foolish to run. When he was parish president and
Tried to promote a tax base in the very southern most part of the parish, they eat him his family and anyone associated alive! Where he is now he appears to have enough support to do some of the same programs he tried to lead in WF.
I visit here once in awhile and laugh, regardless of HRC, Police Jury or dictator SFV and WF will be the same, except poorer, 200 years from now '
Fast Forward

Saint Francisville, LA

#8 Jun 13, 2013
Fact Checker wrote:
1) The voting districts will be 50/50 when it comes to minority/majority districts; right now you have 3 minority districts and 4 majority districts. That is very little change, and just because a district a “minority” district does not necessarily mean that you will have a “black” representative, same goes for a “majority” district. John Kean, who is a white male, was elected from a minority district and Ken Dawson, who was a black male, was elected from a majority district when he was on the Jury.
2) Every full time official has an office car that they can use to go to and from work and use for their official duties, insurance, retirement, and have a expense account. That does not mean they get a open check book and are allowed to use the car and public monies for gas to go on vacation, they have to report EVERYTHING and their books are audited every year. This complaint is simply a red herring to get the ill-informed worked up.
3) Yes, the position is likely to pay $120,000 a year as it is going to based off of the salaries of the Sherriff assessor and clerk. However, it should be noted that the Jury pay will be cut almost in half.
4) All positions have term limits, so the good news is you won’t have to worry about “voting them out” they will term out. As far as the three you have mentioned, if they get elected so be it, the CITIZENS of this parish will have a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice , unlike now when it comes to the Parish Manager, we have almost NO voice in who the Jury selects. In addition, if you think that Sims has the popularity to win you are fooling yourself. I don't even think Dawson could at this point.
You will still not have a VOICE WHEN IT COMES TO THE PARISH MANAGER. The Parish President will hire his Parish Manager and SET HIS SALARY AS HE DEEMS FIT. I believe that if you get your wish and get Mr. Dawson back as the Parish President he will hire back MR. SIMS as the Parish Manager and give him a salary he sees fit which would be $115,000 per year plus a car allowance and expenditure allowance.
Mr. Dawson will have VETO POWER OVER THE COUNCILMEN.
Yes, you are right that the Councilmen will be very underpaid for their job and the thought that it will be difficult to get someone to take this thankless job.
Fact Checker

Saint Francisville, LA

#9 Jun 13, 2013
There are a lot of people that would, have, and are considering it but I'm not posting anyone's name on here that has not come out publicly.
Fact Checker

Saint Francisville, LA

#10 Jun 13, 2013
See, this is another red herring. The people don’t have a voice when it comes to the parish manager now. The Jury can hire and fire the manager at will and set the salary as they see fit. The people's VOICE will in FACT be just as loud under the HRC as it is under the Jury system in regards to this. Think back to Sims, the people were not happy, the people became outraged when he received a raise from the Jury, and as time went on the people put pressure on their elected officials to fire and replace Sims.

Same thing would apply with the PP, if you don’t like who he hired, you can put political pressure on him to fire and replace him. In other words,“I and others will not vote to reelect you if (BLANK) is still your manager”

Second, the Parish President will have to work in a the staffing budget as we have now, this outcry of "he/she will be able to hire people and pay them 100's of thousands" is nothing more than poppycock. He simply can't just set it as "he sees fit" , it dose not work like that.

The simple fact is that this puppy has been voted on, and it passed during a presidential election with a higher than normal turnout. Its time to take all measures to move forward with it, not look for ways to stop it.
Fact Checker

Saint Francisville, LA

#11 Jun 13, 2013
Also, who ever said I was for Dawson? I personally would not vote for him if he ran for it.
Real Slow

Saint Francisville, LA

#12 Jun 13, 2013
You will now have an elected Parish President who will receive a very high salary. He will hire a Parish Manager to do all the work at a nice high salary. We are a very small parish. Only 10,000 residents with a very small General Fund budget. The Parish President and Parish Manager pay must come out of this small General Fund budget.
East Baton Rouge Parish President is also the Mayor of a very large metropolis - We will be paying our Parish President the same salary as the Parish President of East Baton Rouge Parish.
It is SENSELESS.
This Charter is flawed.
We have a Parish President, Mr. Ricky who did the same job of serving as a public head for the Parish. He leaves the hiring of employees to the Parish Manager as required by the State Legislature.
You only pay him $13,000 per year to do the same job you now want to pay someone $125,000 per year. Ricky receives NO BENEFITS, not even a cell phone. Your newly elected Parish President will costs the Parish an additional $30,000 in benefits alone.
It is a foolish waste of taxpayer's money.
The false information that has been put out by the small elite in this parish who want one person they can control to do as they say is shameful.
uhm

Saint Francisville, LA

#13 Jun 13, 2013
It is not the same job as Ricky does, not even close. It is the same job as the Parish Manager does with some additional duties. The PP would not have to hire a parish manager by the way, it just gives him/her the ability to hire someone to do it. They may elect not to, they may also elect to only pay them $30,000 a year.
Clarity

Oklahoma City, OK

#14 Jun 13, 2013
uhm wrote:
It is not the same job as Ricky does, not even close. It is the same job as the Parish Manager does with some additional duties. The PP would not have to hire a parish manager by the way, it just gives him/her the ability to hire someone to do it. They may elect not to, they may also elect to only pay them $30,000 a year.
Please explain the difference in what the $125,000 Parish President will do which is different from what the $13,000 Parish President will do?
Uhm

Saint Francisville, LA

#15 Jun 13, 2013
Clarity wrote:
<quoted text>
Please explain the difference in what the $125,000 Parish President will do which is different from what the $13,000 Parish President will do?
First, Ricky is not the Parish President, he is the President of the Police Jury. His duties are simple, he calls meetings to order, and conducts the meeting. That's really about it, the position is really not that different from a regular Juror, hence why they are elected by the Jury, not the public.

The Parish President will not do anything that Ricky does, that job will fall to the Consel President, who will be a at large member of the 5 person Consel, meaning they will be elected by the entire parish, not voted on by one district and then elected by the others as it is now.

The Parish President will take over Mr. Hashagan's job. He will have all the reaponsibilites of the the Parish Manager, but he will also have more control over the day to day operations. Ricky has absolutely nothing to do with day to day operations.

There should still be a copy of the Charter on the Jury's web site, you should read it, it will likely answer all your questions.
Uhm

Saint Francisville, LA

#16 Jun 13, 2013
Oh , and then there is the obvious, one is a full time job and the other is not.
Wrong De Loach

Oklahoma City, OK

#17 Jun 13, 2013
Uhm wrote:
<quoted text>
First, Ricky is not the Parish President, he is the President of the Police Jury. His duties are simple, he calls meetings to order, and conducts the meeting. That's really about it, the position is really not that different from a regular Juror, hence why they are elected by the Jury, not the public.
The Parish President will not do anything that Ricky does, that job will fall to the Consel President, who will be a at large member of the 5 person Consel, meaning they will be elected by the entire parish, not voted on by one district and then elected by the others as it is now.
The Parish President will take over Mr. Hashagan's job. He will have all the reaponsibilites of the the Parish Manager, but he will also have more control over the day to day operations. Ricky has absolutely nothing to do with day to day operations.
There should still be a copy of the Charter on the Jury's web site, you should read it, it will likely answer all your questions.
Ricky is the Commander in Chief for the Entire Parish. I suppose you are one of the creators of the Home Rule Charter and truly believe that Ricky only calls meetings to order and conducts the meetings.
You still have not said what the $125,000 Parish President is going to be doing? He will have a Parish Manager to run the day to day operations of the Parish. That entails making sure the Road Manager does his job and the Sports Park Manager does her job and the Water District Manager does his job. We are not a busy metropolis with 300,000 residents.
The Economic Development Board is now controlled by the Fire Chief, Sheriff, School Superintendsnt and Hospital Board. This is set up that way by the Charter. We have a highly paid Economic Development Director for any businesses to bring their concerns to .
The. president will not be in charge of a police force like the President of East Baton Rouge Parish.
just do it

Baton Rouge, LA

#18 Jun 14, 2013
YES 53.22% 2659
NO 46.78% 2337

Votes during the election for or against the HRC nearly 6,000 voters total casted their votes. Very large turn out of voters voted in the election. By having a special recall election, the anti HRC people hope for only 2/3 or less of those nearly 6,000 voters to turn out that turned out for this election.
This has proven an effective tactic in the past, fewer voters voicing their opinion the more likely the issue they support will turn out in their favor.
QUIT WASTING TAX PAYER MONEY AND GET ON WITH WHAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THIS PARISH VOTED FOR.
Catfish

Saint Francisville, LA

#19 Jun 14, 2013
Taken from the Jury's site:

The Police Jury system is a pattern for local governance that is unique to the state of Louisiana. About 2/3 of the parishes in the state employ the Police Jury system. The other 1/3 of Louisiana parishes operate under either a council-president, a council-manager, or a consolidated parish/city government.

The Police Jury operates much as a county board of commissioners or similar local governing bodies in other states. Members of the Police Jury are elected by the voters of the parish, and the Jury functions as both the legislative and executive branch of government for the parish. Its members – Jurors – elect a President as their chairman. This President presides over the Police Jury and serves as head of the parish government.

Ricky is not the "Commander and Chief" , he can not act on his own, he can not contract on behalf of the parish without the consent of the others, he is simply the "chairman" on a board of directors. He doesn't have any more authority or power than the others.

“Fresh Air”

Since: Jan 11

Saint Francisville

#20 Jun 14, 2013
QUIT WASTING TAX PAYER MONEY AND GET ON WITH WHAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THIS PARISH VOTED FOR.

Amen!!!!!!!!!!

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