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How Central Compares: Just the Facts

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By Dave Freneaux

  • Increasing Central’s City Council from 5 to 7 seats would likely cost $130,000 every four years.
  • 98% of Louisiana municipalities Central’s size and smaller are getting the job done with 5 or fewer Council Members. 

    When considering how many Council Members a City needs, many things must be taken into consideration.  Fortunately, we have hundreds of communities in Louisiana with a combined thousands of years of experience running local governments, and we can certainly look to their decisions and City Council structures for guidance.

    The argument can be made that Central is different from many other communities, and that argument is valid.  Central has the distinct advantages of privatized City Services. In addition, primary Law Enforcement, Fire Protection, Emergency Services, Trash Pickup, Sewer and Water are all being provided and managed by others.  Not having to manage all of these services certainly does reduce the burden on Central’s government.  Without the burden of legislation for these services, Central requires smaller government than cities of comparable size.

    The following is a list of facts concerning the number of Council Members other Louisiana communities have found necessary to operate their government, and the number of government employees they have on the payroll to manage.

  • Central is a City formed under Louisiana Law known as the Lawrason Act.
  • 246 of the 305 municipalities in Louisiana were created under the Lawrason Act.
  • The average Lawrason Act municipality has 4.5 Council Members.
  • The average number of employees of the 246 Lawrason Act municipalities is 26.
  • Central has 2 employees.
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  • There are 285 municipalities in Louisiana with a population equal to or lesser than Central.
  • Only 6 of those 285 have more than 5 Council Members.
  • The Average number of Employees in those 6 Municipalities is 120.
  • Central has 2 employees.
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  • There are 118 Municipalities in Louisiana with less than 10 employees.
  • None of these 118 have more than 5 Council Members.
  • The average number of Council Members in these 118 municipalities is 3.5.

    This is only one approach to determining whether to increase the size of Central’s government.  Changing to Districts and increasing Central’s City Council from 5 to 7 Seats would give each voter a slightly stronger voice in choosing their Council Member, but it carries a $130,000 price tag over four years to support the bigger government.  As seen above, 98% of Louisiana municipalities Central’s size and smaller are getting the job done with 5 or fewer Council Members.

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