Meetings set on West Feliciana’s proposed council districts

Three public meetings are set next week to discuss the redistricting plan needed to replace West Feliciana Parish’s police jury form of government with a parish council.

Voters last year approved a home-rule charter for the parish that calls for a parish president and a five-member parish council instead of the current seven-member jury.

The three meetings will be held in the Police Jury meeting room on the second floor of the Courthouse Annex, 4785 Prosperity St.

A meeting for Police Jury District 5 residents is set for 10 a.m. Monday, and a second is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday for District 4 residents, according to an announcement from jury Secretary Sherrel Johnson.

A meeting for District 6 residents is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the announcement says.

Demographer Cedric Floyd, of Kenner, is scheduled to attend the meetings to answer questions from the public.

The home-rule charter specifies that the council will have four members elected from single-member districts and one member elected in parishwide balloting.

Floyd submitted a proposed four-member district plan to the Police Jury in March that calls for two majority-black districts and two with white majorities.

If voters elect an at-large member who is white, the Parish Council will have three white and two black members, Floyd said.

He said he considers comparing the seven-member jury with three black members with a five-member council with two black members as “a wash” that the U.S. Department of Justice will accept when it reviews the plan under provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act.