Charter commission votes to amend pay of parish president

Aaron Looney

The Home Rule Charter Commission voted Wednesday to recommend inclusion of language in the charter setting the salary of the parish president to that of the parish sheriff.

The recommendation marks one of the first suggested changes the group has made to the parish’s official form of government. The proposals will later go before the Parish Council and then the voters of Ascension Parish for ratification.

During Wednesday’s meeting in the Parish Council chambers, commissioners discussed numerous aspects of the charter in its mission to offer possible revisions that would be recommended to the Parish Council and then parish voters.

One issue that brought disagrement among members present Wednesday was if the parish council should have two-thirds vote power to reinstate a department head fired by the parish president. After lengthy discussion about the issue, the commissioners voted to table  the matter until more commissioners could be present to discuss it.

The committee also voted to propose wording be changed in the charter that allows the parish president to be absent for seven days - instead of 72 hours - before an appointee would be designated in the president’s stead.

Commissioner Sitman “Red” Loupe said that with technological capabilities today, the parish president can stay informed on happenings in parish government while away for a seven-day period of time.

Likewise, the commission agreed to recommend extending the time period before the parish president’s position is declare vacant from 60 days to 90 days.