Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell OursoBiographical Sketch

J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. was elected as the first Parish President of Iberville Parish under the Home Rule Charter form of government in October of 1997, for an initial two year term.  He was re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, and again in 2011. 

President Ourso is a native of Iberville Parish, son of the late Iberville Parish Sheriff Jessel M. Ourso and Eula Mae Leblanc Ourso, and the eldest of six siblings. He is married to the former Jelina Vaughn and is the father of three children, Jessie, Jessel III, and Gunnar.  A 1971 graduate of Plaquemine High School, Ourso is a former part owner of Black Stallion Trucking Company. 


  • Constructed an award-winning Iberville Veteran’s Memorial, and sponsors an annual ceremony honoring veterans on Veterans Day and the Veterans Honor Guard.
  • Works tirelessly to establish a new hospital in the parish since River West Medical Center closed.
  • Provided a social worker position at the Parish Health Unit.
  • Completed a $3.5 million renovation and addition to the Parish Maintenance Facility.
  • Instrumental in getting SNF Flopam to locate a $550 million facility to employ 500 people in Iberville Parish.
  • Working to address water quality problems in Iberville waterways through a Tri-Parish Partnership with $831,000 in federal and tri-parish funds.
  • Beginning construction of a North Iberville Community Center in late 2010 or early 2011.
  • Conducted extensive debris cleaning of Bayou Plaquemine and Bayou Grosse Tete
  • Constructed a new $2 million Council on Aging headquarters in Plaquemine.
  • Completed a $12 million road overlay program throughout the parish in 2009
  • Worked diligently and successfully in convincing the executives of Shintech, LLC to locate their $2.5 billion plant in Iberville Parish.
  • Made extensive sewer improvements in the Patreau Lane, north Plaquemine and Bruceville areas
  • Works with the local fire departments and Property Insurance Association of Louisiana and consultants to upgrade the fire ratings in the unincorporated areas, which results in lower insurance rates for residents.
  • Secured central fire dispatching for all ten fire departments through the Parish EOC/911 Center.
  • Implemented a Substance Abuse Program for the parish.
  • Made significant upgrades and constructed additional boat landings in the parish.
  • Has worked diligently to secure funding for upgrades to the Water Districts in an effort to ensure that the water quality and service are continually improving to meet new DHH and EPA regulations.
  • Worked diligently to ensure location of Diamond Plastics in Iberville Parish, as the first business to locate in the newly developed Industrial and Technology Park.
  • Was instrumental in securing total state funding and construction of a new state-of-the-art Health Unit for Iberville Parish.
  • Worked actively with state and local officials to secure funding for the construction of the Mike Zito Multipurpose Center.  This 37,000 sq. foot facility provides a site for a variety of activities for this area.
  • Was instrumental in working with local officials and agencies on the adoption of a parishwide Strategic Plan and Master Land Use Plan.
  • Worked with Shintech officials to secure a by-pass route for trucks entering and departing Hwy 1148.
  • Constructed a new bridge over Bayou Plaquemine.
  • Constructed Enterprise Boulevard to tie into the new bridge to provide a much needed evacuation route for the residents of that area and economic development opportunities.
  • Constructing the Enterprise Boulevard extension to tie into Tenant Road, which will provide an alternative route through Plaquemine and economic development opportunities.
  • Constantly works to clean up the parish, including litter and debris along our highways and waterways. Implemented the Keep Iberville Beautiful program.
  • Secured funding through the state for the renovation of the Old Fire Station, located on Church Street in Plaquemine, to house the Iberville Parish Tourism Department.
  • Constructed a $1.5 million Visitors Center on I-10 in Grosse Tete as the gateway to the parish.
  • Had a Parish-wide database created for infrastructure inventory on all utilities/roads/drainage and mapping.
  • Initiated a fixed asset program and a consolidated storage facility for the parish.

Personal Recognition & Memberships

  • Received the 2005 Louisiana Public Health Association Public Service Award
  • Member of Iberville Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Board
  • Graduate of the 2001 CABL (Council for A Better Louisiana) Louisiana Leadership Class
  • Member of the five-parish Ozone Task Force for Baton Rouge non-attainment
  • National Guard Minute Man Award

Numerous Awards To Various Agencies Under His Administration

  • EOC/911
  • 2000 DPW Drainage  Award – Police Jury Association
  • 2000-2010 GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
  • 2005-2011 GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
  • 2001 Recognition for Early Implementation of Governmental Accounting Standard 34 from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board