While a number of predictable races on the Oct. 22 ballot may be exhausting some voter interest as election day nears, East Baton Rouge Parish voters are sure to be drawn to the polls by a pair of ballot initiatives proposing an expansion of the boards overseeing the parish’s parks department and library system. If the amendments to the Plan of Government are approved, each board would have three seats added to include representatives from Baker, Central and Zachary, respectively. Supporters say it’s an equal representation issue, and passage is necessary to ensure all parts of the parish have an equal say in the decisions made by the boards. Opponents point out the three cities may be growing, but they still only collectively account for roughly 13% of the parish population—whereas the addition of new members for each would mean the cities would have about 30% of total board representation. BREC’s board has six members appointed by the Metro Council and one representative each from the Mayor-President’s Office, Planning and Zoning Commission and East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. The Library Board of Control has seven members who are all appointed to at-large seats by the Metro Council. Read Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball’s take on the BREC portion of the proposal in a recent column here. A recent column by Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister on the matter can also be found here. Early voting is open now through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at four offices of the East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters. In Baton Rouge, offices are at 222 St. Louis St., room 201 of the Governmental Building; 3851 Essen Lane, inside the State Archives Building; and 10500 Coursey Blvd., room 203. A Baker office is inside the Motor Vehicle Building at 2250 Main St.
Today’s poll question: Do you plan to vote in favor of expanding membership of the BREC and library system boards to include representatives specifically from Baker, Central and Zachary?