ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish Council finalized the new election precincts for the parish council, agreeing to add a precinct that was inadvertently left out when the original ordinance was adopted.
With a 6-1 vote, the council added Precinct 6-3 to District D. The omission was recently discovered during a final review by demographer Mike Hefner, of Geographic Planning & Demographic Services, a consultant with the company that drew the new voting district lines.
The parish’s home rule charter requires a switch to a “four-and-one” representation — meaning four district representatives and one at-large — from the current seven council members for the next slate of elections, scheduled this fall. In a letter to the council, Hefner says the amendment to the ordinance was needed to properly list Precinct 6-3 as part of District D.
“I’m still against the ordinance because I don’t agree with the election districts,” said Councilwoman Lea Williams, who was the only member to vote against the minor change. There were no changes to the final map or the district boundaries.
The council also spent 53 minutes in executive session with two attorneys from Phelps Dunbar, presumably discussing any future steps the parish may take in the wake of its unsuccessful defense of a lawsuit that was ruled on last week. Twentieth Judicial District Court Judge Betsy Jones ruled in favor of Lambert Gravel Co. and the heirs of Paul A. Lambert Sr. in a dispute over a piece of Mississippi River-front property that so far has cost the West Feliciana taxpayers more than $600,000 in legal expenses. After the executive session, the attorneys left abruptly and nothing was said publicly by parish officials or the council.
The council is set to hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. May 18 to discuss the 2015-16 budget with a public hearing in the Courthouse Annex meeting room.