Demographer hired to craft W. Feliciana districts

An agreement has been reached with a Kenner demographer to draw a districting plan for implementing a home-rule charter for West Feliciana Parish, police jurors said Monday.

The contract calls for Cedric Floyd to be paid $21,750 to devise the plan, but the contract is divided into four performance and payment phases, jurors said.

The contract amount will be paid in three 30 percent increments and the final one at 10 percent, Juror Mel Percy said.

The home-rule charter that voters approved in November requires the new Parish Council to be composed of four members elected in single-member districts and one elected in parishwide balloting.

Assistant District Attorney Mike Hughes said Floyd’s contract is written to be terminated after the first phase if Floyd determines that, in his opinion, the parish cannot be divided into districts that will satisfy the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Justice Department must approve the districts and related changes before elections for the new positions can be held.

Other topics discussed during the meeting included:

EQUINE ARENA: Dan Klein asked the jury to consider building an arena at the Parish Sports Park for horse owners to practice or hold activities such as cutting-horse trials, performance shows, roping competition and barrel or flag racing.

The parish does not have a place for horse owners to ride or practice in a public facility, Klein said. Jurors expressed interest in following through on Klein’s proposal.

LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE: Jurors voted 6-1 “to send no one” to the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference March 2-6 after learning the cost may be as much as $4,000 to $5,000 per person. Percy’s motion died for a lack of a second at first, but he revived it when a member of the audience pointed out that the conference is rapidly approaching.

Juror Otis Wilson voted against the motion.