Central races, BREC tax renewals on EBR ballot

Officials are expecting a healthy voter turnout Saturday in Central, where voters will decide on races for mayor, police chief and City Council.

“Their entire municipality is up for election,” said Fred Sliman, public information officer with East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court.

But the turnout parishwide for a BREC tax renewal is less certain.

Early voting in Central brought in 663 ballots of the 19,880 registered voters in the city eligible to vote in Saturday’s election, said Elaine Lamb, registrar of voters.

She said she could not predict how many of the 277,245 registered voters parishwide will vote Saturday since the only issue on the ballot are tax renewals for the parish Recreation and Park Commission.

One of the BREC renewals is for a 10-year, 4.10-mill property tax. The tax helps generate $15.1 million a year for capital improvements, operations and maintenance. The other renewal is a 10-year, 2.10-mill tax that brings in $7.7 million a year for maintenance and operations.

Running for Central mayor are Dave Freneaux, a CPA who co-owns a transportation business and weekly newspaper, and Jr. Shelton, a Realtor. The two are running for the position left open after Shelton “Mac” Watts, the mayor for the city since it formed in 2005, decided not to run for re-election.

Also to be elected is a new police chief after current Police Chief Doug Browning decided not to seek re-election. Kerry Clark and James Salsbury are vying for the position.

And, 11 candidates are vying for the five at-large City Council seats for Central.

City Council members Aaron Moak, Ralph Washington and Wayne Messina are seeking re-election.

Eight new candidates for City Council are June T. Dupuy, Mike Gardner, Jason Ellis, Shane Evans, Kim Fralick, Eric Frank, Harry Rauls and John Vance. All of the candidates are Republican. If a runoff is needed, it will be held May 3.

Other area elections include the special mayor’s election in Port Allen, called after the recall of Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter.

Slaughter, who is running to regain the office, faces challenges from Kirby D. “Mr. A” Anderson Sr., Larry W. Bell and Richard N. Lee III. All are Democrats.

In Livingston Parish, there will be a parishwide vote on a proposition to renew a 10-year, 10-mill property tax, which brings in $4.4 million a year for the library system.