Orleans Schools Tax and Jefferson Charter Changes

• Bureau of Governmental Research

Overview

BGR reviews a proposed property tax for the upkeep of public school facilities in New Orleans and 11 propositions to amend the Jefferson Parish charter that voters will decide on December 6, 2014. The charter propositions relate to:

  1. Modifying the Jefferson Parish Council’s authority to investigate parish affairs
  2. Limiting the outside employment of the Jefferson Parish President and prohibiting the president or council from receiving sick leave or annual leave benefits
  3. Modifying the requirements for layovers of council ordinances
  4. Explicitly excluding the Jefferson Parish Law Enforcement District, which is governed by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff, from the parish finance director’s purview
  5. Making multiple changes to the Jefferson Parish personnel administration
  6. Rewriting the legal services section of the charter to change employment requirements for employees in the legal department, redefine the scope of the parish attorney’s legal duties, and specify that the Parish Council can retain or employ special legal counsel
  7. Giving the Planning Advisory Board and the Board of Zoning Adjustments policy-making duties, and authorizing the Parish Council to create other advisory boards
  8. Allowing the Jefferson Parish Office of Inspector General and the Ethics and Compliance Commission to retain unused funds from the proceeds of a special property tax dedicated to their operations
  9. Making a technical amendment to change the names of three universities that nominate members of the Ethics and Compliance Commission
  10. Establishing a special fund to hold the proceeds from future leases or sales of hospital district asset, and formally protecting the present autonomy of hospital districts and the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO)
  11. Providing for the safekeeping of historical records of charter advisory committees
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