CLINTON — East Feliciana Parish Police Juror Dennis Aucoin regained his post as jury president by a 5-4 vote Monday in the jury’s first meeting of the year.
Outgoing President Louis Kent took the gavel from Aucoin a year ago by a 5-4 vote, but District 7 Juror Sean Smith was the swing vote in Monday’s balloting.
Smith joined the jury in August as the successor to longtime Juror Karl “Bubba” Chaney, who died in July after a lengthy illness. Chaney had voted for Kent in the January 2014 election, but Smith supported Aucoin on Monday.
Aucoin voted for himself and also drew support from Larry Beauchamp, Chris Hall and Ed Brooks.
Kent voted for himself and got support from Dwight Hill, Keith Mills and Jason McCray.
Beauchamp, the jury’s vice president, nominated Brooks as his replacement, and Kent was the only juror voting against Brooks.
Aucoin named Beauchamp as chairman of the Finance Committee, replacing Hill. He also named himself and Hall as Finance Committee members, but he held off on naming jurors to other committees.
Aucoin said one of his priorities in the coming year will be to secure more federal and state grants.
“We’re leaving a lot of money on the table,” Aucoin said, adding that he believes neighboring St. Helena Parish is securing grants that East Feliciana is missing.
During 2014, the jury repaved 33 miles of parish roads but only lowered the jury’s cash position by $1 million, Parish Manager J.R. Rouchon said. The jury also added three pieces of road equipment to its inventory and successfully renewed four taxes that were expiring, he said.
On another matter, the jury renewed its insurance coverage on parish buildings, equipment and vehicles for a price of $121,329. A representative of Dart Insurance Agency said the figure is about $900 more than the total premium for 2014.