Assessor Dirk Deville announces bid for sheriff at EPPJ meeting
Parish Assessor Dirk Deville officially announced his bid for Evangeline Parish Sheriff during the Evangeline Parish Police Jury’s monthly meeting on Monday.
During his address, Deville, who has served as the Evangeline Parish Assessor for the last 18 years, shared his background and his beliefs of what has made him qualified to serve his constituents as their next sheriff including when he assisted the sheriff’s office in “its recent fiscal recovery.”
“First, my past experience as a state executive, as executive assistant under then Lieutenant Governor Paul Hardy, provided me an opportunity to serve on the Louisiana State Bond Commission,” said Deville. “This experience made me aware that we first needed to contact the commission and secure authorization to borrow money to continue operating the sheriff’s department while we addressed the situation. We did that, and the bond commission allowed us to borrow one million dollars.”
Deville continued by explaining that while assisting the sheriff, he, and his Chief Deputy Assessor, Josh Fontenot, “interviewed almost every employee of the agency, reviewed each and every division of the agency and their expenses, and then made recommendations, which the sheriff allowed us to implement resulting in the repayment of the one million dollar loan, and then ultimately those measures we implemented resulted in a more than $800,000.00 surplus for that year.”
The former legislator and LSU graduate went on to state that after he and Fontenot “achieved this recovery,” he then “recommended Mr. Mike Fontenot, CPA, of Mamou, and his services to assist the sheriff in moving forward.” According to Deville, hiring Mike “did not come without obstacles,” due to the fact that “there was a law prohibiting the employment of a school board member with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff Department.”
However, Deville said, “I used my past experience as a legislator to work with our local legislators to resolve this matter,” which was accomplished by extending an existing law to allow a school board member to work for a sheriff in a financial capacity.
Deville then shared his plans for addressing crime and other problems such as litter by finding a way to “use inmate labor and develop a community service program to tackle our litter problems.”
“I have personally been a victim of theft several times of late, and so I am well aware of thefts, illegal drugs, meth labs and other forces of crime plaguing our communities and affecting our families and the futures of our children,” said Deville. “One of our greatest efforts will be fighting and solving crime and conducting solid investigations giving our prosecutors their best chance for success.”
The election for sheriff will be on October 12, 2019.
The Jury then heard from its auditor, Vic Slaven, who provided it with its 2017 annual audit report.
Slaven shared that the EPPJ finished the year with a $1,685,000.00 general fund balance. He also stated that the EPPJ had an excess in revenues of $880,000.00.
After giving his report, Police Juror Bryan Vidrine asked, “Did we do a good job for the year?” Slaven then responded, “You guys did a very good job managing your funds.”
After hearing from Slaven, the EPPJ recognized serveral local all-star teams from Ville Platte and Mamou, including the Ville Platte T-Ball Boys All-Star team, Mamou 8U Girls All-Star team, Mamou Pitching Machine (seven and eight year olds) All-Star team, and the Ville Platte 6U Girls T-Ball All-Star team.
During the recent meeting, the EPPJ also heard from Public Works Director, Chester Granger, who informed the jury that its drone had arrived and that it had been flown twice.
The drone, according to the public works director, is going to be used to “look at the parish’s drainage system.” For example, Granger shared, “when it floods, we will be able to fly the drone to see where we need to improve drainage.”
Granger then went on to request assistance from the public in a matter where eight-tenths of a mile of Angus Road had been “plowed.”
The incident, which took place in Rocky Rider’s district, according to Granger, occurred on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at around 9:00 p.m.
Granger said, “This is now going to cost the district to repair the damage.”
The public works director has requested that anyone with information to call him at (337) 363-5651.
Near the end of the meeting, Police Juror Brian Vidrine announced that he was recently contacted by Diamond and Construction, which shared that La. Hwy. 106 from U.S. Hwy. 167 to La. Hwy. 13 is being repaired.
Other items approved at the meeting:
•appointment of Stephanie Smith to the Evangelism Tourism Board.
•resolution to support Bryan Vidrine’s candidacy for Police Jury Association of Louisiana as a member at large.
•adoption of the 2018 millages.
•reappointment of R.L. Quam to the Evangeline Parish Water District #1 for a five year term.
•voting precincts for upcoming elections.