Jeff Davis creates parish administrator position

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, December 14, 2023

A move to create a parish administrator for Jeff Davis Parish received a boost Wednesday from police jurors.

The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance creating the position and forming a selection and interview committee to meet with potential applicants.

Police Jury President Steve Eastman said a parish administrator is needed to help pursue and secure grants and oversee parish projects.

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“The parish needs someone who drives for excellence and someone who will look out for the parish and will go after as many funding opportunities as possible to move the parish forward,” Eastman said.

Police Juror Chad Talbot said the decision by the police jurors to create the position is a game changer for the parish.

“It is a position that has been needed for years,” Talbot said. “It really feels good to see it come to fruition. The position will finally give us what we need to help move the parish forward and develop.”

He said the position will allow the police jury office to operate more efficiently and be more productive. He also said the administrator would be able to help coordinate projects, seek grants and other funding sources for the parish.

“We will also be able to have someone working full-time on projects,” Talbot said.

The administrator will also be able to work with state legislators, the Louisiana Police Jury Association, the National Association of Counties and others to seek opportunities for the parish.

Ronnie Petree, chairman of the Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development Board and president of the Jeff Davis Parish Industrial Board, praised police jurors for their action.

“Without a doubt one of the most historical votes ever made by the Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury occurred Wednesday night,” Petree said. “The vote to move forward with the hiring of a parish administrator for the police jury is priceless and the benefits from this will be of value to this parish for years to come.”

Petree thanked the search and interview committee in advance for the work they will do to assure that the recommendation made by the police jury will be the best possible person to assure that the decision is a success. He also thanked the police jury for having the foresight and vision to move forward on what many people have thought for years should be done.

“Seeing the effort they put into this process, I know they will do what they need to move our parish forward,” he said. “This is a great parish and this new hire, along with other things many have done over the last few years, will help make us even greater and in the end we will do things that make our existing businesses better and more stable, seek new people to move here and locate new businesses to our area and most of all, finally get our children and our grandchildren to move back home to one of the greatest parishes in the state to live, work, worship and play.”

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.

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