Let the fire district vote
Due to the gradual decline of voter turnout during elections, elected officials begin beating their drums about “voting is your right and you should take advantage of this right etc., etc.”
I attend most of the St. Landry Parish Council meetings because I get first hand the “happenings” in the parish. One particular issue I have found interesting is the Fire District 3 situation. During the spring or early summer of 2016 the leadership of Fire District 3 officially requested the Council place on the forthcoming election ballot allowing the voters of Fire District 3 the opportunity to vote for or against a proposed additional 10 mill property tax. This request was rejected. A simple vote to allow the people of that district to vote was overlooked. The political drums of “voting is your privilege — go vote” were silent. In December 2016 an identical request was made by the fire district authorities and again the request was rejected. This would not have cost the Parish Council one cent to place this request on the voting ballot. The cost would have been the responsibility of the fire district.
Evidently Fire District 3 has been experiencing a decrease in revenue over the last few years and did not want to experience the same financial situation of the parish government, thus the request to allow the residents of the district to determine their fire protection fate was denied. Fire District 3 occupies approximately one-third of St. Landry Parish and provides fire protection for 30,000 to 40,000 residents. This fire district has been operating with a 16.79 millage since 1980. Informed sources stated this is the lowest millage of paid departments in St. Landry Parish.
An inquiry revealed that six or seven Parish Council members either reside in Fire District 3 or have a jurisdiction in that area. I strongly question the decision making process of those Council members who voted “No” to allow citizens of fire district to cast a request to vote.