Jeff Davis Police Jury considers hiring administrator

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury is exploring the possibility of hiring a parish administrator to assist the parish in seeking grants and carry out programs to help the parish move projects forward.

Police Jury President Steve Eastman said Monday, police jurors are in the initial discussion stage on hiring someone to oversee programs and seek funding for various projects including water, sewer, roads and other infrastructures.

“Many of the local parishes, including Calcasieu Parish, have administrators in some shape or form,” Eastman said. “Sometimes it’s an administrator/parish engineer.“

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Police juries are allowed by state law to hire a parish administrator or manager and set forth the responsibilities and authority of the position. The position is not an elected one and does not have veto authority.

There has never been a parish administrator for Jeff Davis Parish, according to Eastman.

“We feel now is the time,” he said. “Because of the massive work that is going on with all of the federal and state funding programs and the opportunities those funds present. They jury feels we may be missing funding sources that may be available.”

“There’s capital outlay, Community Development Block grants, economic development, water sector…there’s all these other programs that we believe if we had somebody managing them and pushing for it from start to finish, we would have a better opportunity of garnering those funds.”

He said the parish needs someone to oversee and manage projects, as well as look for funding opportunities that the parish may not be aware is available. This person would also keep police jurors updated on projects.

“This person doesn’t necessarily have to write the grants, but once he sees it, then he can contact the state who has a group that is available to the parishes to use as grant writers,” he said.

The Police Jury does not currently have a job description available for the position, but Eastman said he has received a number of job descriptions from the Police Jury Association of Louisiana and neighboring parishes.

“We are reviewing what other parishes included in their job descriptions and we know what we want to see in our job description,” he said.  “We hope to blend the two together and a make a good job description.”

Although things are still in the preliminary planning phase, Eastman is optimistic to have the position in place by early 2024.

“My hopes would be to have it at the beginning of the year, but I don’t know if we have that time because we are going to have to advertise for the position,” he said. “In the meantime, we are going to investigate the possibility of hiring someone to do the job for Jeff Davis Parish.”