The Washington Parish Council met Monday (October 11, 2021) evening and, in addition to handling routine matters, addressed the matter of redistricting of council districts, heard comments from residents, and heard reports from Parish President Richard Thomas and his staff.
The work of redistricting of council districts must be accomplished by the end of the calendar year. To facilitate the work, the Council voted to approve an amended resolution that 1) appointed Marshall Buddy Jenkins as a consultant to the Washington Parish Council (as recommended by the Infrastructure Committee) and 2) established an Advisory Committee. Jenkins “crunches” the numbers to comply with redistricting requirements and makes recommendations to the Council, who will vote on how council districts lines will be drawn. The Advisory Committee, consisting of seven members (one to be appointed by each Parish Council Member) will participate and provide for transparency in the process. View the video beginning at 5:35. Also, go to https://www.mthermonwebtv.com/2021/09/wp-infrastructure-committee-on.html, beginning 2:00, for the discussion on redistricting at the Infrastructure Committee meeting on September 23, 2021.
President Thomas provided an update on the review by the attorney firm engaged by the parish to examine solar plant issues. See the video beginning at 15:50. The review has included examination of documents of related hearings by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, programs in other states, an analysis of the parish's draft of a proposed ordinance, input by the Concerned Citizens, and input from two solar energy companies. A final report is expected by the end of November.
Beginning at 20:00 into the video, President Thomas provided an update on COVID-19 in the parish, Public Works Director provided information regarding debris cleanup following Hurricane Ida, Finance Director Donna Graham and others remarked on the recent passing of Washington Parish Librarian Allison Barron and his contributions over the years, and Transportation Manager Donnell Merritt reported on other work performed by work crews.
Thomas, Wheat, Merritt, and others emphasized the efforts by public works and other WPG employees who have worked 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week for the last 41 days.
Following comments by Council Members, the meeting adjourned.