ST. FRANCISVILLE — With a new sign stating “Together Anything is Possible” on the front of its bench, the new five-member West Feliciana Parish Council was sworn in Monday and immediately got to work.
Parish President Kevin Couhig, who also was sworn in for a full four-year term, said he picked up the slogan from an English soccer club that went from the bottom division to the top division by applying the motto. Pledging to forget the past two years, which were marked by frequent contention and acrimony, Couhig said, “We will reach our potential working together because I believe in my heart together anything is possible.”
After a brief public reception, the council meeting began and Melvin Percy was voted unanimously as chairman. At-large representative Sydney Picou-Walker was voted vice president. Percy and Melvin Young are the only returning council members; the panel has decreased from seven members to five as stipulated by the parish’s Home Rule Charter.
“We will try to be as professional as we can, and we will follow Robert’s Rules of Order as strictly as possible,” Percy promised. The council also voted to cut back its meeting schedule to one per month, on the second Monday. The exception is February, when the council will meet Feb. 15, the third Monday, because of the Mardi Gras holidays.
The council also introduced an ordinance and will have a public hearing on Feb. 15 to consider creating a legal department and to provide for the appointment of a parish attorney. The District Attorney’s Office has been the legal adviser to the council.
At its Dec. 28 meeting, the previous council passed an ordinance for funding of up to $65,000 to expropriate 5.23 acres near the Mississippi River, plus $15,000 for other fees such as a survey of the parcel. The ordinance was vetoed by Couhig, and the veto was sustained because no member of the new council offered a motion to override Couhig’s veto.