Parish President Rick Nowlin responded Tuesday to a question from The Natchitoches Times about an emergency declaration issued July 12 that was signed by John Richmond, acting parish president, rather than by Nowlin. The declaration was issued in response to a potential emergency and warning to the public posed by then approaching Hurricane Barry. The declaration cited the impact the hurricane could have on roads and safety of parish residents because of high winds, tornados, heavy rainfall and flooding.
Nowlin said, “I was out of the Parish for more than 72 hours and the Home Rule Charter requires me to designate an acting president during my absence.
I drafted the declaration with Executive Assistant David Kees assistance and asked Mr.Richmond to sign it as the acting president.
The charter provides that if the president does not appoint an acting president the Council chairman can then select a department head for the temporary role.”
Nowlin said since the planning and zoning director’s position is vacant, there were only three other department heads.
“OCS/Head Start Director Sharon Harris was very busy with the Head Start closeout and Parish Treasurer Julie Lockhart is very new. I asked Mr. Richmond to serve as he has prior executive experience and many of our problems encountered daily involve the public works department which he heads.”