GREENSBURG, La. (AP) — The St. Helena Parish Police Jury has rejected a proposal to create a parish manager position responsible for overseeing daily government operations.

The Advocate reports ( Police Juror Warren McCray Jr. had proposed parish grants administrator and St. Helena School Board member Virginia Bell as a potential appointee for the post.

The idea has been considered several times. Jurors have said the parish might be run more efficiently with additional oversight.

However, they split on who should provide that oversight.

Resident Joe Lee said he has been pushing the Police Jury to create the position to help them stay more informed about parish business.

Lee said he envisions the parish manager as a spokesperson for the parish with area legislators as well as the public, keeping the Police Jury informed of long-term and day-to-day issues.

Responsibilities for the position would include preparation of the parish's operations and maintenance budgets, financial reports and annual audit; personnel administration; policy development and implementation; oversight of public works activities; and administration of contracts for all outside professional and construction services, according to a job description Lee drafted.

"Make no mistake: We've got six good men on the board up there," Lee said of the Police Jury. "But with them meeting only twice a month, it's almost impossible for them to know everything that's going on in the parish. They know what's happening in their ward only."

A parish manager would help the jurors bridge that gap, enabling them to make decisions more efficiently and effectively, Lee said.


Information from: The Advocate,