PLAQUEMINE – The Iberville Parish School Board selected a new redistricting plan at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night that will reduce itself from 15 members to nine.
The board's reduction was forced by a 2010 law that was presented to the Legislature for approval by former state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete.
The School Board considered four redistricting plans that all included eight single-member districts and one at-large member.
Eventually, motions for two maps were seconded and Plan 4.1.1, which includes a prison population of 4,000, was adopted by an 11-2 vote with members Dorothy Sansoni and John Morris against.
Plan A, which didn't include the prison population, failed 10-3 with only Sansoni, Darlene Ourso and Pam George voting in favor. Board members Yolanda Laws and Freddie Molden were absent.
"I know the goal of an incumbent is to protect your territory but to be fair, you have to look at the constituents," resident Linda Johnson said.
Ourso also questioned the inclusion of the state's prison system inmates in the plan.
"That kind of disturbs me," Ourso said. "I have never been about saving my own head. Otherwise I wouldn't say some of the things I do up here. It will be what it will be and when it is all said and done I hope we do the right thing for the kids regardless of the color of our skin."
Under the adopted plan, Ourso will be challenged by Morris and Molden in District G.
"There are three white members put into one district in Plaquemine so the cut is across the board," board member Tom Delahaye said. "It has everything to do with that."
Delahaye, who previously criticized the Iberville Chamber of Commerce for choosing to speak before the legislature on the school board issue, will have to face off against Michael Hebert and Brian Willis in District H according to the new map.
"Every map on here is legal," Hebert said.
Other members that would be forced to face each other are Laws, Sansoni and Michael Barbee in District F and George and Donald Patterson in District C.
Melvin Lodge, Nancy Brossard, Glyna Kelley and Polly Higdon will not have to battle fellow board members according to the new plan.