Tanya Faucheux appointed to fill District VII Council seat

Published 8:27 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

LAPLACE — Tanya Faucheux has been appointed to fill the District VII seat on the St. John the Baptist Parish Council to complete the unexpired term of Tom Malik.

Faucheux was appointed during Tuesday’s Parish Council meeting in LaPlace, just one day after Malik resigned from the District VII seat. According to a letter obtained by L’OBSERVATEUR, Malik notified Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin that he was resigning because he was moving out of the district he represents.

Malik has served on the Parish Council since 2017 and was the current Council Chair, a position that runs the council meetings and controls items placed on the agenda. During the June 13 meeting, Councilman-at-large Division B Michael Wright was elected by the Council to assume the Council Chair role.

There were concerns from members of the community and some council members regarding the nomination process to fill a vacant seat. While Faucheux was nominated by Malik during his last day in office, several community members spoke up in favor of local attorney and former judge Sylvia Taylor to be nominated for the position.

According to the St. John the Baptist Parish Home Rule Charter, vacancies on the Parish Council shall be filled within 30 days by a majority vote of the remaining members of the council. In the event the Parish Council fails to fill the vacancy in this timeframe, the parish president shall fill the vacancy.

In previous years, when a councilperson resigned, he or she provided a recommendation for a replacement. It was left up to the remaining members of the council to approve or disapprove the nomination.

In this instance, the process was complicated by the fact that Malik was still the Council Chair as of close of business Monday, and only the Council Chair may add items to the agenda.

Four Parish Council members voted in favor of naming Faucheux as Malik’s replacement for the District VII seat, with two voting against and two abstaining. The motion to name Faucheux Councilwoman District VII was initially thought to have failed with the votes tied. Keith Green with the District Attorney’s Office explained that the vote passed with a majority, because the abstentions do not count.

Special elections are called to fill vacancies when there is more than one year remaining in the unexpired term. Since Parish Council elections are slated for this fall, with the current term ending on December 31, a special election is not necessary. The appointed representative will remain on the Parish Council until the person elected to fill the vacancy assumes office in January 2024.

Faucheux serves as the coordinator of instructional/educational technology for St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools.

 

  • By Christine Browning and Brooke R. Cantrelle