OPELOUSAS — The St. Landry Parish Council selected Madeline Taylor as the interim District 3 council member to replace Fekisha Miller-Matthews, who announced her resignation last month.
Both Taylor and Emily Boudreau, daughter of former police juror and parish councilman Bruce Boudreau, had applied to replace Miller-Matthews until Nov. 8, when a special District 3 council election will be held.
Ten council members on Wednesday voted for Taylor. Vivian Olivier was absent. Council chairman Harold Taylor, no relation to Madeline Taylor, did not vote.
Taylor did not address the council after her selection, but in an interview after the meeting she said she applied for the appointment following requests from several voters in District 3.
“When the rumors came out about (Miller-Matthews’s pending resignation), several people who lived in the district called me, so I decided to think about it and pray about it,” Taylor said.
“I have known Fekisha since she was a little girl, and when she took over on the council she was so young. I understand that she has a young family now,” Taylor said. “It will take some time for me to get out among the constituents and find out the issues that concern the people in the district.”
Taylor said she was not approached by Miller-Matthews to apply for the appointment.
On March 18, officials in the Registrar of Voters Office said they received a complaint challenging the residency qualifications of Miller-Matthews.
Records in the St. Landry Parish Assessor’s Office indicate Miller-Matthews listed her residence as 1349 La. 349 when she qualified to run for re-election in 2015.
Lafayette Parish Assessor’s Office records also show that Miller-Matthews filed for homestead exemption for a home in the Carencro area from 2011 until 2014. The assessor’s records also show that Miller-Matthews paid taxes on the residence, which is located in Oakridge Estates.
Miller-Matthews announced her resignation on March 24. In a news release, she said family concerns required that she resign her council seat.
In another matter, the council rejected a proposal to appoint an advisory committee to amend the Home Rule Charter.
Council member Nancy Carriere said she felt it is time to review all aspects of the charter, which went into effect in 2002, although she said there are no specific areas of the charter she feels needs revision.
Council attorney Chad Pitre said the council can appoint a citizen’s advisory committee or a committee from within the council.
Voting against the committee were Timothy LeJeune, Jimmie Edwards, Colby Clavier, Jimmy Red Jr., Mildred Thierry, Kenneth Marks and Dexter Brown. Those voting for the committee were Alvin Stelly, Carriere and Wayne Ardoin.