New Council chair unveils Standing Committee assignments

Chairman Chase Melancon

Newly-elected to the chair of Ascension’s Parish Council, District 6’s Chase Melancon unveiled standing committee assignments.  Melancon prefaced the unveiling:

Last week my council colleagues unanimously voted me as the 2023 Chairman for the Ascension Parish Council. I put a lot of time and effort into my duty as your council member (which often feels like a 2nd full time job lol) and I believe that’s a large part as to why I was chosen for this leadership role. I’m very very very excited about this.

One of the biggest responsibilities of the Chairman role is to appoint my council colleagues to our sub-committees that consist of Recreation, Transportation, Finance, Personnel, Utilities, and Strategic Planning

At this time I will not be appointing anyone to Strategic Planning or Utilities as I am proposing to eliminate these committees from the council by-laws. I believe they are no longer needed. The full council will vote on possibly eliminating these two sub-committees on February 2nd.

For the placement of our other committees I considered many things such as polling where everyone preferred to serve, their attendance, ability to run a meeting, availability, etc. It’s was a tough process but without further ado, here is your 2023 Ascension Parish Council Committee assignments. I’m very excited about the upcoming year and can’t wait to see we can achieve when we all work together.

Melancon omitted District 4’s Corey Orgeron from every committee save Finance which is comprised of the entire council membership by ordinance.  East Ascension Drainage is a free-standing commission created by state legislation which declares each east bank council representative to be an Ex Officio member.

Chairman Melancon followed through on an idea he has been mulling for a while, proposing to eliminate two standing committees.  Strategic Planning has long been the repository where uncomfortable issues go to die on the vine, oft-times unable to achieve a quorum as successive chairmen ruffled other council feathers.  Ordinance 2-100(9)(e)-Strategic planning committee:

Strategic planning vision is to promote good governance, promote good planning and monitoring of the overall direction of the parish, to consider matters which help the governing authority to work toward the goal of good governance using the ‘Characteristics of Good Governance’ as a guide and to recommend any other matters to the council that may complement this vision.

Utilities has little to do since voters decided to sell off all east bank wastewater treatment assets though two water providing entities continue operations on the west bank.  Ordinance 2-100(9)(b)- Utilities committee (sewage, water, gas, electric, etc.):

  1. Liaison with state and federal agencies with reference to waste management.
  2. Review and recommend facilities with state and federal agencies with reference to sanitary sewerage collection and disposal.
  3. Work to develop a long-term plan for future needs of the parish’s sewerage and solid waste (including funding for such plan).

Elimination of the committees can only be accomplished by ordinance.