The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Tuesday, in a special meeting, could not agree on who to select as their new Public Works Director. The jury had four separate votes with three of the four votes coming up as tie votes.
Three of the six applicants were nominated for the position vacated by Donald Bergeron who was promoted to Secretary Treasurer effective October 1. The nominees were Former Public Works Director Chester Granger, Dustin Vidrine and Wilbur Thompson. There was one juror absent from the meeting: Richard Thomas.
The first vote was split among all three nominees: Granger receiving 4 votes, Vidrine with 3 votes and Thompson with 1 vote. Since no nominee received a majority of the votes, a second vote was taken with Thompson out of the race: Granger and Vidrine each received 4 votes. After recesses and discussions with their legal advisor, the jury took two more votes on the position with the same results: a 4-4 tie vote.
Some jurors felt that since Granger received a plurality of the votes in the first vote, he should have been elected. Jury President Bryan Vidrine explained that the jury follows Robert’s Rules of Order and the rules call for a majority of the votes as the deciding factor.
The jury by a vote of 5-3 requested an Attorney General’s Opinion on the issue . Meanwhile, the jury agreed to continue the special meeting at 5:45 next Monday September 9 before the regular meeting to attempt to resolve the issue.
In other news, a police jury committee approved by a vote of 3-1 to pay new Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron the same pay rate that retiring Doug Deville was being paid: $57,000 plus benefits.