FRENCH SETTLEMENT, LA (WAFB) - The way the Village of French Settlement selects its next police chief could change.
On Monday, September 21, the village aldermen will consider an ordinance that will allow people to vote on whether they want to continue electing a new chief or have the mayor appoint someone. In French Settlement, Harry Brignac has been elected police chief for 30 years.
"We have had three chiefs in the past 50 years," Mayor Toni Guitrau said.
Mayor Guitrau, who has been in office for eleven years, said recently she has been approached by residents requesting that the police chief's job become appointed, or a hired position, rather than elected. That would allow the mayor and the village aldermen to get involved in police matters.
"Sometimes there's a major issue going on and you start getting your residents coming to you because you are the mayor, and they come to the aldermen also and they are wanting some changes," Guitrau said.
The mayor would not elaborate on those changes, but said she wants to bring the proposition before voters to see what the majority of the village wants.
French Settlement residents were on both sides of the fence.
"Here you go with one person in control instead of consensus. The aldermen and mayor should have a say so about the police chief," Butch Little said.
"I hate to see anybody get appointed, you know. Let the people decide, not the mayor," Wayne Aydell said.
Police Chief Brignac declined an on-camera interview. When asked whether he intends to run for police chief in next year's election, he said he would make that decision after the aldermen make theirs on Monday.
If the French Settlement Board of Aldermen approve the ordinance on Monday, the proposition will appear the ballot for the November 21 election.