NEW ROADS — Members of the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury, which now features six new faces after the 2015 fall elections, began their four-year tenures Monday deadlocked on who should serve as president of the 12-member body.
The jury’s tie over two nominations gives its current president, Melanie Bueche, who has served on the jury for 20 years and as its president for 10 years and five months, another six months to preside over the parish body.
With so many new faces on the Police Jury, many veteran jurors had expressed hope the new blood would infuse much-needed camaraderie in the often temperamental governing body.
Alas, it was not to be, except for Bueche’s temporary reappointment, which the jury overwhelmingly approved in the hope the 6-6 tie in an earlier vote between jurors Justin Cox and Cornell Dukes might be broken.
Dukes was nominated Monday night by freshman Juror Edward “Pop” Bazile, who now sits in a position once occupied by Dukes’ father.
Cox’s nomination came from veteran Juror Kurt Jarreau.
Dukes was supported by jurors Gordon Taylor, Kyle Olinde, Anthony Hurst, Bazile, Bueche and himself.
Cox was supported by jurors Mitch Langlois, Charles “Gumball” Watkins, Glenn Ray Cline, Stephen Smith, Jarreau and himself.
In a later vote that night, Dukes was picked 7-5 to serve as vice president of the jury. He defeated Smith, another new face on the jury, for that spot.
The jury’s attorney, Dannie Garrett, said it would take a nominee getting the required 7-vote majority to claim the title. Bueche, he said, remains as president until then. “You guys essentially can continue to vote until you break the deadlock.”
Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.