- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

NEW ROADS, La. (AP) - The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury has rescinded a resolution that had urged state legislators to increase the number of representatives on the board that oversees the parish’s Health Services District 1.

The Police Jury adopted the resolution earlier in February at the urging of Juror Albert Dukes, who wanted board membership increased from nine to 12 members, giving each member of the Police Jury an appointee.

But The Advocate reported (https://bit.ly/1gCrO3R) that last week Jurors Kurt Jarreau and Janet Vosburg asked the Police Jury to reconsider its position and the resolution was withdrawn.

Vosburg said local doctors opposed the change.

Under the existing board’s volunteer leadership, she said, Pointe Coupee’s hospital system has gone from operating at a loss under Police Jury oversight to financial stability.

“They have, through the years, performed in an extremely competent manner,” Vosburg said. “Why do we have to change it?”

Jarreau said expanding to a 12-member model would make the hospital board too political.

“Politics have been taken out,” he said. “If we’re here to each appoint a person onto this board, its going back to what you had before. When the Police Jury was running the hospital it basically ran it into the ground. I want it run like a business. Take the politics out of it.”

In a letter dated Feb. 25, Dukes told the hospital board and doctors that he wanted to increase the board’s size because it lacked minority representation.

“To continue with the nine-member district would be agreeing to continue abuse and discrimination,” Dukes wrote.

As the jury considered rescinding the resolution to expand the board, Dukes spoke up.

“No representation for blacks at all within the city of New Roads? There is something terribly wrong there. The (hospital) system is not working for black people, and some white people who don’t have representation in their districts.”

Vosburg said the board always had black representatives, but added the parish should strive for greater minority representation with future appointments.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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