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May 29, 2019

The administration of a parish government with a president/council form would be led by a parish president who would appoint and supervise the department heads in the parish administration. Those appointments and the salaries fixed by the president would be subject to approval by the parish council. 
The district attorney or designated representative would then as now serve as parish attorney.
The first parish president would be responsible for creating within six months of taking office the personnel policy for parish employees. While presumably such a policy exists now, it would be an opportunity to improve upon it to the benefit of both the parish and the employees thereof.
All departments existing as of the effective date of the new charter and the first president’s taking office would remain in operation until reorganized by the parish president. The plan of reorganization should be approved by a vote of the parish council.
The parish council could amend or modify the plan but only with the consent of the parish president.
A fundamental change in the approach to all work and road maintenance in the parish would be in the manner of its prioritization. At present the police jury simply tries to apportion funds and work equally among the wards without respect to any overarching plan of development benefiting the parish as a whole. The wards are like children in a large family, each one anxious mostly to be sure to get an equal share of funds available.
Instead, the parish president would submit an annual plan for capital improvements to the parish council, listing in order of priority the capital improvements for the year. The criteria for priority ranking would include the population served and the economic necessity of the road for agriculture, business and industry and would take into account the contribution of the work to the economic development of the parish as a whole. 
A selective maintenance list would provide a schedule of work to be done upon receipt of a constructive notice of a defect in the parish roads requiring immediate attention.
Just as now, funds that were raised for roads and public works in special tax districts could be spent only within the geographic boundaries of the taxing district.
The parish president would be responsible to prepare and present the council with the annual operating budget 90 days prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. The council would immediately schedule a public hearing on the budget and make available a copy for public inspection and provide other copies at a reasonable cost to those wanting to purchase one. The council may amend the budget by a vote of the majority of the council. The budget as adopted would be distributed to the relevant agencies and departments of the parish government. Interested parties would then be able to purchase at a reasonable price copies of the budget as adopted.
The operating budget of the parish government would consist of three parts: the president’s budget message, the details of the budget, and a complete appropriation ordinance by department. Next week we propose to begin by discussing parish finances in greater detail.