Committee asks Jury to expand secretary's duties

By Paul Kedinger

RAYNE – A small committee has taken a major step to remove the eight members of the Acadia Parish Police Jury from the day-to-day operations of parish government.

Working with a job description for the secretary-treasurer of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the committee modified it to reflect the needs of Acadia Parish during a meeting Thursday morning.

The finished document should be voted on during the Jury’s meeting Tuesday night, April 8.

If accepted by the full Jury, Secretary-Treasurer Terry LaCombe will assume new duties over the hiring and firing of parish employes, become responsible for authorizing Jury purchases up to $25,000, and will prepare the Jury agendas and recordings of official proceedings or minutes of the Jury.

Using the official state Police Jury Manual as a broad guide, the jurors inserted specific duties.

As Juror John Quebodeaux noted, I don’t want to be involved in the day-to-day operations. I want to listen to my constituents and go to the supervisors if I have a specific question.”

Quebodeaux stated his belief that Secretary-Treasurer LaCombe should oversee the hiring and firing of road crew workers in consultation with the department supervisors.

Juror A.J. Credeur added, “if he (LaComb) doesn’t have the power of hiring and firing, the supervisors won’t listen to him.”

The committee members pointed out there is a procedure in place for a parish worker to contest his or her firing. In addition to requiring that a specific number of warnings be completed and inserted into a worker’s file, they can appear before a Jury committee and eventually the full Jury.

Citing governing bodies in other sections of the country, Quebodeaux said the boards “hire a CEO” who implements the policies as established by the boards.

“All eight of us have to understand that,” emphasized Quebodeaux regarding the Jury focusing on its policy-making role.

The jurors also indicated renewed efforts to update the employee manual were essential. The previous Jury began the process of revising the manual, but the project has never been completed.

The Acadia Parish secretary-treasurer would also gain added “purchasing authority” if the Jury accepts the committee’s recommendations.

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