Council to discuss redistricting issues

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 6, 2002


HAHNVILLE – Yet another try at redistricting is planned at the Monday meeting of the St. Charles Parish Council, examining a five-member, four-district plan introduced Nov. 18 by Councilman G. “Ram” Ramchandran.

The council must redistrict according to updated population numbers and distribution in the 2000 U.S. Census. However, every plan put forth has been shot down, including seven- and eight-district plans. This time, Ramchandran is trying for a four-district plan, with one additional member elected parish-wide.

According to the census, St. Charles Parish’s population increased to 48,072 residents – 24,081 on the East Bank and 23,991 on the West Bank. That is up from 42,437 in 1990 and 37,259 in 1980, according to U.S. Census data.

Ramchandran’s proposed ordinance states: “Since the 2000 Census has confirmed that there are virtually equal populations on the East and West banks, the citizens should have the right to select equal councilmatic district representation from each bank of the river.”

He continued, “The citizens have expressed concern that the size of government is too large for the population and decrease in representation is in order and in the event that the population growns to over 100,000 citizens these positions could possibly become a a full-time job.”

The ordinance also calls for establishment of a Charter Commission to draft the four-district plan, two on each side of the Mississippi River without crossing it, then call an election to have the voters decide the matter.

In other matters:

• An ordinance will be heard regarding requirements on trees and shrubs on improvements, servitudes, easements, lands or portions of lands proposed to be dedicated to the parish.

• An ordinance will be heard to revise the agreement with the St. Charles Humane Society toward the micro-chipping of pets.

• Proposed home occupation licenses will be discussed for Affordable Plumbing Repair in Boutte and for Hope’s Horticulture Services in Luling.

• The annual Christmas Celebration will be recognized. The tree-lighting ceremony is set at the West Bank Bridge Park on Thursday at 6 p.m.

• The St. Charles Toy & Gift Fund, under the administration of Fay Caire, will be recognized with Dec. 8-14 as Toy & Gift Week.

• Persons to address the council include John Bivona on flood protection, Leah Guidry on employee salaries, Annabel Hogan and Paul Hogan on a truck stop with video poker.

• Finally, the 2003 council meeting schedule is due to be approved along with approval of the council chairman and vice-chairman. Lance Marino has been nominated as chairman and Desmond Hilaire has been nominated as vice-chairman.