- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

AMITE, La. (AP) - The Tangipahoa Parish Home Rule Charter committee is recommending reducing the number of Parish Council districts from 10 to nine and adopting term limits for the parish president and Parish Council members.

The committee also is recommending requiring the Parish Council to appoint a chief administrative officer and take away the parish president’s power of a line-item veto.

If the Parish Council agrees with the recommendations, The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1pypKxv ) the proposed changes would be put before the voters on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Committee members Duncan Kemp and Leonard Joiner argued at Tuesday’s meeting against reducing the districts, noting that the only reason for a nine-member council would be to avoid tie votes. Kemp said that in 30 years the parish has been governed under the charter, tie votes have occurred only a few times.

“You are trying to correct a minor problem by creating a much larger one,” Kemp said. “If we change the districts, new lines will have to be drawn, population surveys will have to be made and you will reduce the number of representatives the citizens have.”

However, committee Chairman Tony Licciardi pointed out the Tangipahoa Parish School Board has nine members and those district lines could probably be followed.

The committee voted 6-3 to send the proposal forward.

The 11 members of the charter committee were appointed last year and the group has been meeting for nine months. The committee has a deadline of May 27 to offer its final recommendations to the parish council.

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

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