A Better Ascension will hold public meetings

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

'A Better Ascension' will be hosting numerous public informational meetings in order to lay out its vision for implementing the Parish Manager-Council form of government in Ascension Parish. The first round of 'A Better Ascension's' public meetings is as follows:

August 14 - 6:00pm - Gonzales Informational Meeting

August 15 - 6:00pm - St. Amant Informational Meeting

August 21 - 6:00pm - Donaldsonville Informational Meeting

August 22 - 6:00pm - Prairieville Informational Meeting

The locations for these meetings will be announced soon. 'A Better Ascension’s’ proposed Parish Manager-Council model is utilized by approximately 43% of all counties in the United States and has been found to be 10% more efficient than the Parish President form of government, according to a study conducted by IBM.

"We believe the Parish Manager-Council form of government will bring Ascension Parish to the next level," ‘A Better Ascension’ Board Member John Scanlan said. "This style of government has proven to be much more effective and efficient than our parish government's current model."

The proposed charter amendments 'A Better Ascension' is advocating would require a proven leader who has obtained a Master in Public Administration or Business Administration to serve in the Parish Manager position. The Parish Manager would also be required to have at least five years experience in an executive role within local government.

The Parish Manager would first be nominated by a board of Ascension business and community leaders after an extensive search for the right applicant. The members of the nominating committee would include the Ascension Parish School System Superintendent, one Ascension Rotary Club member appointed by the parish council, one business executive appointed by the parish council, and two members appointed by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. The makeup of this committee ensures Ascension citizens who have experience in hiring qualified employees lead the Parish Manager search. The Parish Council would ultimately choose who serves in the Parish Manager position and has the ability to reject any Nominating Committee recommendation.

"These charter amendments allow Ascension Parish to recruit a highly qualified leader, ‘A Better Ascension’ Board Member Jeremy Epps said. "They also require the Parish Manager to achieve tangible goals and set a long-term plan for the parish."

The Parish Manager-Council form of government is very similar to how the Superintendent and Ascension Parish School Board operate. Voters select the board who then appoints a qualified leader.

"If the people of Ascension like the school board model, they are going to love the style of government ‘A Better Ascension’ is supporting,” ‘A Better Ascension’ Board Member Brandon Trosclair said. “This movement will take petty politics out of the operation of our parish government.”

These events are open to both the public and the press. The group will also debut its video campaign at these events. The video may be found here at ‘A Better Ascension’s’ website: www.abetterascension.com. Visit us online: www.ABetterAscension.com; On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABetterAscension; On Twitter: @BetterAscension.

Contributed Report