Mary Doucet
Local News Parish Council

Tourist Commission Remains Nearly Unchanged Following Vote

BOBBY ARDOIN
Contributing Writer

With one exception, the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission won’t look any different than it did before after six of seven current members were reappointed last week by the Parish Council.

Sunset-area resident Lincoln Savoie, a StLandryNow.com columnist, is the only new representative on the Commission, whose three-year terms are determined by council members.

Otherwise reappointed by the Council during a regular meeting Wednesday night were Angela Guillory, John Slaughter, Mary Doucet, Delita Rubin Broussard, Yvonne Normand and Sylvia Guidry-Brown, wife of council member Dexter Brown.

The active terms of the previously-elected Commission were due to expire on Feb. 19.

During Wednesday’s vote Guillory, Doucet and Normand received 12 votes, meaning they were all reappointed unanimously to Commission. Guidry-Brown and Savoie scored 10 votes, while Slaughter and Broussard received nine apiece.

Stephanie Tompkins, a Town of Washington resident, was also a candidate for the Commission. Tompkins received six votes.

The issue of Opelousas-area dominance on the Commission also did not change with the Council’s selection.

Four of the seven Commission members live in the Opelousas area, while Slaughter and Savoie represent the south end of the parish.

Herman Fuselier, executive director of the Commission, said Angela Guillory is a representative from the Swords community located between Eunice and Lawtell.

Fuselier had asked the Council several times during the past two years to appoint a Commission member from Eunice, since that city is the second largest in St. Landry Parish.

Again however the Council decided otherwise.

“I thought the vote went pretty much as I expected,” Fuselier said after the Council made its decision.

In January Council members were told that their previous Tourist Commission selection process was not aligned with state law, according to a letter presented by Fuselier during a committee meeting.

The law Fuselier told the Commission, requires Tourist Commission members to be selected from a list of nominees submitted to the governing authority by private, nonprofit groups that have an interest in one of more aspects of the tourism industry.

During that committee meeting several of the council members admitted their prior selections processes had probably failed to adhere to state law.

Doucet and Guidry-Brown were the only Commission appointees selected on Wednesday night to appear before the Council and present their qualifications.