CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Caddo Parish Commission selected its new officers for the year in an election held Thursday.

Commissioner John Atkins of District 9 was selected by his fellow commissioners to be the commission president for 2022.

Commissioner Roy Burrel of District 5 was elected to be vice president. Commissioner John-Paul Young of District 4 was selected to be the parliamentarian.

During Thursday’s virtual meeting a contentious issue before the commission found some compromise today. The commission approved the ordinance that would require new parish employees to live within the parish. It applies to about nine positions including parish attorney, parish administrator, and department director.

Commissioner Lyndon B. Johnson of District 2 authored the ordinance saying with Caddo Parish losing population and a campaign to bring people back, it’s important to require staff in leadership roles to reside within the parish.

“We’re talking about new hires instead of people who are already working for the parish. So if a new hire has the motivation to be a director then they would need to move into the parish and not stay somewhere else,” Johnson said.

Commissioner Todd Hopkins was originally against the ordinance but gave his support on Thursday after the ordinance was changed to grandfather-in current employees, with the caveat that the commission can revisit the issue if they need to find qualified staff from outside the parish.

However, the ordinance only passed with an eight to four vote, mostly divided down party lines.