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Group wants to eliminate the Ascension Parish president position

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PRAIRIEVILLE - A group that wants to create a "Parish Management" style of government in Ascension Parish hopes to get their proposal on the ballot next March. The group, A Better Ascension, held a public meeting Monday night in the northern part of the parish.

"We're ultimately looking to improve efficiencies, visions, plans. Planning for the growth we see in this parish everyday," A Better Ascension board member Jeremy Epps said.

The group wants to eliminate the parish president position and replace it with a professional manager who is hired and fired by the parish council. It's a similar system used by school boards and their superintendents.

Members of A Better Ascension argue a parish manager would be more efficient because a manager could focus on his or her job instead of worrying about getting re-elected. The group has been criticized for being elitist and anti-democratic.

"You still have the right to vote for your councilman and our charter puts more emphasis on that vote in itself," said board member Jamie Bourgeois.

Group members said almost half of all county governments in the United States have a manager style of government. A Better Ascension has to convince the parish council to put the proposal on the March ballot in 2018.

The next public meetings are:

Donaldsonville Meeting Aug. 24 - 6:30pm - Church of Donaldsonville
Gonzales/St. Amant Meeting Aug. 29 - 6:00pm - City Room


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