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Ascension Parish Committee vetting possible changes to parish government system

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ASCENSION PARISH - A group in Ascension Parish wants to revise leadership, beginning with a parish manager--a role that would require a Master's degree in public administration and appointment by a council. But it would mean a drastic change for the role of Parish President.

Most notably, stripping the position of its power.

Last month, A Better Ascension added a "ceremonial parish president" role to their parish manager proposal. The president would be an elected position, but have "no administrative authority over parish departments, offices, or employees."

"He's going to be a ribbon cutter, he's going to cut ribbons and get $76,000 a year and a parish car," said Ascension Parish resident Jeff Pettit.

After hearing the strenuous objections during public comment, the Home Rule Charter Revision Committee voted to remove the Parish President role from A Better Ascension's proposal, which seemed to be of little consequence.

"The most important thing we did in all of this was to put a Parish Manager in place, and at the end of the day, we're happy with the change, if that's what the people want and that's what goes in front of the council to be put on the ballot," said A Better Ascension member Marty Martin.

The proposal is in the process of being vetted by the Home Rule Charter Revision Committee. If it is approved by the Ascension Parish Council, it will be on the Dec. 8 ballot for voters to decide.


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