Taxes, 3 races to be decided Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / October 4, 2000

LAPLACE – All St. John the Baptist Parish voters will have two sales taxproposals to accept or reject this Saturday.

Voters in District 8 will select a school board member, District 2 residents will pick a constable and District 4 voters will decide who will be Justice of the Peace.

The St. John Sheriff’s Office is asking voters to approve a 1/4-cent salestax increase to fund raises for deputies, and for Sheriff Wayne L. Jones tohire eight more deputies. Jones also needs the extra revenue to absorb thecost of 14 deputies that were hired under a federal grant. The grant runsout soon, and Jones has to find someway to keep the deputies on the force.

Jones said that the growth of the parish makes it necessary for him to hire more personnel so that he can maintain the present level of protection for the citizens of St. John Parish.The St. John Parish School Board is also asking for a 1/4-cent sales taxincrease so that they can give their teachers a much-needed raise. Theyalso want to make teachers salaries competitive with surrounding parishes so that public schools can hire and keep certified teachers. SchoolSuperintendent Chris Donaldson said the shortage of certified teachers in St.

John schools is “critical” and “if we want students to perform well on the state LEAP tests, then good teachers are an absolute necessity.” This salestax would only be for teachers’ salaries and would raise their pay to $27,000 a year.

Voters in District 8 of the St. John Parish School Board will also be asked toelect a new board member. District 8 is bounded by Belle Terre Boulevard andCountry Club Drive on the east and west and Interstate 10 and Dominican/Madewood on the north and south. The seat was vacated byRichard DeLong retired in July for health reasons. The winner of the racewould serve out the remaining two years of DeLong’s term.

Running for the District 8 school board seat are former school board member Charles M. Duhon; teacher and former St. John Parish Councilmember Mike “Coach” Maggiore; Randall Triche and former school board member Russ Wise.

The District 4 Justice of the Peace office is also up for grabs Saturday.

This office was vacated by Eliana DeFrancesch when she successfully ran for St. John Parish Clerk of Court.Running for Justice of the Peace is Dean DeFrancesch, William “Bill” Favor, Cathy L. Wade and Donald “Tyran” Williams.Finally there is the race for Constable in District 2. This is the most crowdedrace with five candidates. Running are Albert Burl III, Brent “Beno” Duhon Sr.,Walter “Gus” Madere and Tom Weber. All candidates are residents ofGaryville.

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