W. Feliciana’s economic development director sacked

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ST. FRANCISVILLE — West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig, who said Friday he is the new face of economic development for the parish, has dismissed West Feliciana Parish Economic Development Director Dennis Manshack.

“It’s not any kind of reflection on Dennis or his abilities. He’s a good man, but the economic reality of the situation is we can’t afford to have both of us leading economic development,” Couhig said.

Manshack, who has been in his current position for two years, said he was notified in writing over the weekend that he was being dismissed.

“I really enjoyed my two years at the parish,” Manshack said.

Manshack said he will continue his parish duties until Jan. 31.

Couhig said Manshack’s annual salary was $80,000.

Although the parish president salary in West Feliciana Parish is $115,000 a year, Couhig said he is only taking a $80,000 a year salary.

Manshack said he was not surprised by his dismissal, given Couhig’s background in economic development.

“I knew. I could see the handwriting on the wall when Kevin was elected,” Manshack said.

Manshack notified friends and members of the press of his dismissal on Friday.

“I have had a great time here and have made many new friends, and can boast many accomplishments to look back on,” Manshack wrote.

He said his biggest accomplishment was in turning around the attitude of the parish toward being more open to some development, as well as “keeping open to the public what economic development is in process and what is planned.”

Before going to work for West Feliciana Parish, Manshack worked as a banker at Gulf Coast Bank. He also worked as a former executive director for the Louisiana Economic Development Corp.

Couhig was elected as the parish’s first parish president on Nov. 16 following a 2012 vote to change the parish’s form of government from police jury to parish council.

Couhig’s main message throughout his campaign was to use his background in business to bring economic development to West Feliciana Parish.