East Baton Rouge Parish voters approved a measure that city-parish officials say will allow the Department of Public Works to better and more efficiently serve the needs of the parish, in areas ranging from grass mowing and building maintenance to road and sewer system construction.
The measure was approved by 58 percent of parish voters.
City-parish officials wanted to break up DPW, the city-parish’s largest department, into six different departments. The proposal dissolves the DPW director position and creates six separate departments with their own heads. Officials have said this plan will not cost additional tax payer money, and will boost efficiency and lead to better recruiting and retention.
The new departments will be: environmental services; transportation and drainage; maintenance; buildings and grounds; fleet management; and development. Each will have a leader, which Daniel said will make each division more efficient, more transparent and more accountable.
While it may seem odd for voters to weigh in on administrative changes, the structure of DPW is laid out in the parish’s Plan of Government, which requires a vote of the people to change.