Elections set today in River Parishes area

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 18, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE- The election polls open today in St. John the Baptist Parish to give citizens an opportunity to vote on several propositions, one related to pay raises for sheriff’s deputies and the others related to the public school system.

The first, and most discussed by the board, school-related proposition involves the borrowing of $20 million in bonds to make a variety of improvements and constructions within the district.

New roofs for several schools, the construction of a ninth grade wing at East St. John High, A new east bank elementary school, and a new media center at West St. John Elementary are some of projects planned if the vote passes.

The “wish list” was compiled after a series of public forums held by the school system’s newly formed communications committee and was then voted on by the school board.

Proposition 2 asks votes to rededicate a property tax already in effect to pay for teacher and school employee raises, while the third proposition requests the renewal of a property tax to help with maintenance.

All of these propositions are independent of one another, which means one can be passed without the others.

The law enforcement tax asks for a one-fourth increase in sales tax for the parish, which will spilt the revenues between the sheriff’s office and the attorney general’s office.

It is intended to grant a pay raise of $150 a month to deputies and for payment into the D.A.’s general fund, which is currently funded by the parish.

School Superintendent Michael Coburn, as well as Sheriff Wayne Jones, said they do not expect a large voter turnout, but both are hopeful the propositions will pass.

Polls open at 6 a.m. today and close at 8 p.m. There are nine polling locations in LaPlace; one in Garyville, at Garyville Magnet School; four in Reserve, one in Edgard, at the courthouse; and two in Vacherie.