St. Charles Parish, one of the most affluent and progressive parishes in Louisiana, became one of the first parishes to adopt a new form of government.
Louisiana’s 1974 Constitution provided to the people of a parish their right to establish a home rule form of government. Home rule would give local government the authority to adopt its own laws without regard to state law except in those instances where state law prohibits or denies such authority. In 1977, the St. Charles Parish Police Jury empanelled a Home Rule Charter Commission to study the issue and draft a proposed charter.
Voters overwhelmingly supported the proposition for home rule. The charter became effective on January 7, 1978. The provisions of the charter were implemented, but the structure and organization of the new government would not be put into place until June 1980 as police jurors were allowed to serve their terms until that time.
As the first parish president, Kevin M. Friloux’s mission and approach to organize the new government laid the foundation and groundwork for a modern, progressive government, which carried the parish into the new millennium.
This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.