In an area where most politicians hold office until they are either term limited out or retire, it’s fair to call the New Iberia City Marshal’s position the most unstable we’ve seen recently.
A Louisiana city marshal technically has the same powers as that of a sheriff, but with offices in small communities the jobs and duties are typically confined to serving papers and fulfilling the obligations of the city court system.
Under former Marshal Vic Delcambre, who served in the office for decades, there was very little news that came out of the office. But with his death in 2018, New Iberia has seen two elections to select a new city marshal. It’s about to see a third.
The first two elections were more about timing than controversy. Tony Migues won a bid in 2019 to finish out Delcambre’s remaining term, and then won his own term in 2020.
But with Migues’ resignation in March following his February arrest on malfeasance charges, the position is once again up for grabs.
During the last two elections, the debate centered on how the incoming marshal would take his office into the 21st century. Some candidates suggested a model similar to the Jeanerette City Marshal’s Office, which has developed a reputation as an aggressive law enforcement agency that assists in policing the community as much as court security.
Migues was elected with a smaller, community-oriented vision that included assisting with school traffic and local events along with the mandated court duties of the marshal.
With the City Council approving an election in October, local residents can expect these conversations to come up again.
So far, only one candidate has announced to The Daily Iberian that he will be running for the position — former New Iberia Police Capt. Corey Porter, who made it into a runoff against Migues last fall. Joe LeBlanc, a former (and perennial) Iberia Parish sheriff candidate, is expected to announce his candidacy for marshal at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The finances and budget of the City Marshal’s Office will likely be another point of contention. Under Delcambre, the office had notoriously old or non-existent computers and vehicles, which Migues was in the process of updating.
Should the office be more modernized and active in law enforcement? If so how will the New Iberia City Marshal pay for it?
Those are just a couple of the questions that any prospective New Iberia City Marshal candidate should be asking themselves right now, because the people will be asking come October.