School Board proposed smaller cut in membership

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

The 15-member Iberville Parish School Board went on record last week suggesting cutting its membership by a third as an alternative to a deeper cut suggested by state Sen. Rob Marionneaux Jr.

Marionneax did not respond to a POST/SOUTH inquiry about whether he would amend his bill.

The state senator has pushed a bill (SB420) through the Senate that would cut the size of the school board from 15 to five, with four elected from single member districts and one elected parishwide, or at large, effective in 2015. It is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the approval of voters statewide.

The bill passed the Senate in a 36-0 vote, and had been assigned to the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

At a special meeting lat week, the School Board 8-3 for a plan to cut its membership to 10, nine elected from single member districts and one at large. Board Member Brian S. Willis of Plaquemine made the motion, seconded by Board Vice President Glyna M. Kelley of Plaquemine.

Board Member Darlene Ourso of White Castle proposed a substitute motion to support Marionneaux's proposal for a five-member board, but failed to get a second.

Willis said he had talked to Marionneaux, whom he said would consider amending the bill to 10 members.

Plaquemine Board Member Yolanda Butler Laws said Marionneaux had told her he would prefer seven members, six from individual districts and one at large, but that 10 members would be “pushing it.”

Laws, with a second from Ourso, proposed a substitute motion for a seven-member board, but they were the only two members who voted for it.

In the vote on Willis' motion for a 10-member board, voting yes were David “Worm” Daigle of Grosse Tete, Melvin Lodge of St. Gabriel, Freddie Molden III of Bayou Goula, and Michael Barbee, Paul Distefano, Michael Hebert Jr., Willis and Kelley, all of Plaquemine.

Voting against were Dorothy R. Sansoni of Plaquemine, Laws and Ourso.

Absent from the special meeting were Nancy T. Broussard of St. Gabriel, Tom Delahaye of Plaquemine, Albertha Hasten of White Castle and Stanley Washington of Maringouin