CLINTON — When they begin new terms Monday, East Feliciana Parish police jurors are scheduled to name a new parish manager to replace Sonya Crowe, who has held the job for almost three years.
Crowe is taking a new job with Landmark Bank of Clinton, she announced last month. She wants to remain as parish treasurer on a part-time basis.
On Monday, Jan. 6, two members of the jury's Personnel Committee, the three new members who will join the jury, jury President Louis Kent and Crowe interviewed the three candidates who applied for the job: Homeland Security Director Joseph G. Moreau, former Parish Manager John Rouchon and local businessman and community volunteer Bill Ford.
The new jurors who take office on Monday are Richard Oliveaux, Chrissie O'Quin and Kyle Fleniken.
Committee members Keith Mills and Edward Brooks said at the meeting's conclusion that they will meet again to make a recommendation to the full jury on one of the three candidates, but they did not set a meeting date.
The pay schedule for parish manager, the official who oversees the jury's day-to-day operations, ranges from $26.95 to $41.95 per hour.
When the nine current jurors began their terms in January 2016, they declined to reappoint Rouchon as parish manager, which eventually led to Crowe's hiring.
Ford, who manages Charlet Funeral Home's monument business, cited his experience as an official of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Grace Health Rehabilitation and management ability with Charlet during his introduction to the panel.
Ford has been a volunteer firefighter in Clinton for 25 years and serves on the parish's Emergency Communications Board of Commissioners. He said he is especially proud of his work to help set up the parish's 911 emergency communications system, which he said is one of the best in Louisiana.
Rouchon, a parish native who served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years, said "public service is ingrained in me." He had been with the jury for six years before January 2016, and now serves as an investigator for the parish coroner.
Rouchon said if he is appointed, he will immediately "ride the roads" to inspect work now being done in the parish with a large Federal Emergency Management Agency grant obtained after the 2016 flooding. He said he also will "get up to speed" on the changes the jury has made since 2016.
Moreau, an Army veteran, said he envisions himself as the jury's senior noncommissioned officer, carrying out the directives set by the jury as a whole. He said he wants to look out for the parish's employees, with whom he said he enjoys working.
Moreau is spearheading the work underway on parish roads affected by the 2016 floods, and said he will "work hard to get you through these (upcoming FEMA and state) audits" that will follow the grants.
Moreau also said he wants to continue serving as the parish's homeland security director for at least the estimated two years that it will take two finish two FEMA projects on the drawing board, including a "safe house" for parish employees to use during natural disasters.
The three candidates each expressed support for operating on a four-day workweek as employees do now, but keeping the jury's office and maintenance yard open five days a week.
A flexible schedule, with some employees taking off Mondays and some off on Fridays would benefit the public, because the jury office would be open 50 hours a week instead of 40, they said.