St. John School Board decides on redistricting plan

Published 1:40 pm Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Monique Roth


RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board put to rest months of tense discussions and indecisiveness by voting on a redistricting plan at its meeting this week.

At the April 15 meeting, the board chose a redistricting plan, known as Alternative 2. The plan shifts the boundaries of the board’s 11 districts, most notably District 1 which will now include portions of LaPlace.

District 1, which in   cludes the entire west bank of the parish, took in portions of Reserve and Garyville in the plan that has been used since 2000.

The chosen plan will be used to determine voting districts for the St. John Parish’s Nov. 4 elections.

The board chose the Alternative 2 plan from three different redistricting options. All three plans kept the majority of the current districts intact.

Last year, state election officials rejected St. John Parish’s proposed plan, saying it contained too many split precincts and could not be implemented. What followed was months of what could conservatively be described as heated arguments about what action the board should take to resolve the issue. Many board members wanted the proposed plan to be fixed, while others were adamant that a new company should be brought in to draft a new plan.

In the end, South Central Planning De    velopment Commis  sion, a new company, was hired to create the new maps. Josh Manning of South Cen  tral Planning said he expects the state to approve the plan by July. The new plan can be viewed at

The next St. John Parish School Board meeting is scheduled for May 1 at 10 a.m. at Godchaux Grammar Cafeteria, 1600 River Road in Reserve. At that meeting the School Board is expected to formally adopt the new redistricting plan.