East Feliciana Police Jury names interim parish manager

The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury voted Tuesday to name Joe Rouchon as interim parish manager when Glen Kent leaves his post Sept. 30.

Kent has served as parish manager for a year but recently announced he planned to leave the job before the end of this year because of family obligations.

Chairman Ed Brooks said his Personnel Committee recommended appointing Rouchon, the parish treasurer, to the post on an interim basis through the end of the current jurors’ terms, but the full jury did not set a length of term for Rouchon Tuesday night.

Rouchon has been an assistant administrator under both Kent and former Parish Manager Judith Kelly.

Brooks said Rouchon will remain as the jury’s treasurer but will be paid the same as Kent. The jury set Kent’s salary at $55,000 last July.

Other items before the jury included:

TAX VOTE: Five jurors voted to deny a request from parish Council on Aging Director Brenda Gardner to support a 1-mill property tax for the agency, with jury President Dennis Aucoin, who usually does not vote, breaking a 4-4 deadlock.

Voting with Aucoin were Chris Hall, Dwight Hill, Karl Chaney and Larry Beauchamp.

Louis Kent, Jason McCray, Keith Mills and Brooks voted to support a tax vote to provide a more reliable source of funds for the agency.

East Feliciana Parish has the lowest property tax millage in the state, which results in railroads and other public transportation companies claiming the parish as their domicile.

Beauchamp said a barge company recently claimed the parish as its home, while Aucoin said the low millage resulted in an extra $684,000 in property tax revenue for parish agencies last year.

“One mill could upset the whole deal,” Beauchamp said.

PRECINCT MOVE: Jurors agreed to hire demographer Nancy Jensen to assist in getting the necessary approval to move the polling place in McManus from an old cinder-block building to the fire station next door.

“It’s a much nicer building,” Kent said.

After the meeting, Kent said the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal Voting Rights Act may eliminate the need for prior U.S. Justice Department approval, but he said Jensen will do what it takes to get any approval needed.

The move will affect two voting precincts.

“It’s a move of less than 20 feet,” Kent said.