EVANGELINE PARISH POLICE JURY MEETING
MAY 10, 2011
Ville Platte- The Evangeline Parish NAACP is opposing both primary reapportionment plans being considered by the Evangeline Parish Police Jury. NAACP Chapter President Arthur Sampson told the jury Monday that the jury should prepare a redistricting plan that calls for a third minority district in District Three.
District Three which is primarily in the Mamou area is currently represented by Juror Ryan Ardoin.
Sampson said his board unanimously voted to oppose the two plans under consideration by the police jury. He plans to express the objection with the United States Justice Department.
In addition, he is asking that the parish create a minority judgeship. He mentioned that the jury , two years ago, decided to initiate a parish magistrate to assist with the two judge’s case loads. “There is a need for a minority judge in Evangeline Parish.”
Demographer Mike Hefner said it would be very difficult to make District Three a minority district since it only has 37 percent minority representation. That district would have to move district lines all the way to Ville Platte to get sufficient minority representation.
Hefner explained that the parish is considering two plans: Plan One and Plan 1-A.
He said Plan One’s districts are more compact. However, District Two has a population deviation of 6.9 percent, The districts should not have a deviation level of plus or minus 5% of the mean district population. Plan 1-A moves the Clearwater community in the northern part of the parish and move it to District 7.
The police jury has called for a public hearing and special meeting on adopting a reapportionment plan on May 23 beginning at 5;00pm.
In other business, the police jury voted to decide on May 23 on whether to submit a proposal for a proposed juvenile detention center. There are 12 parishes in the running for the state funded facility in Acadiana that will employ 90-100 full time permanent staff members. The state is looking for 10-20 acres of property. The jury is considering property in the Parish owned Ward One Industrial Park as well as from several property owners who have expressed an interested in selling their property to the state,
Also, the jury has turned in the names of two candidates to serve as interim police juror for the remainder of this year. Jury President Eric Soileau announced that J.D. Soileau of Point Blue and Larry Buller of Ville Platte were turned in to the governor’s office. The governor will appoint one of the candidates to represent District One after former Juror Davis Manuel stepped down as part of an agreement with prosecutors following a state audit report.
In other action: the jury:
--requested an opinion from the Attorney General on whether the jury can legally sell property in its Industrial Park to the Ville Platte Veterans of Foreign Wars organization;
--appointed Wade Riley to replace Donald Miley on the Evangeline Parish Library Board for a five year term.