The newly seated Parish Council held its first meeting at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. The meeting, for the most part, moved smoothly and lasted just over an hour, but it did have a few quirky moments. The first item of business was the election of officers. Mr. Russell Rachal was nominated and elected to serve as the Chairman. Patsy Ward-Hoover, who declined Councilman Doug de Graffenried’s nomination to serve as Vice-Chairman, in turn nominated him to serve in the position and the Council approved her nomination.
Residents of Union Grove Rd. were present to inquire about the possibility of repairs being made to their road and discussed at great length what roles the Council, Parish President and the Director of Public Works play in the Parish government and the maintenance of Parish roads.
The Council authorized the Parish President to execute resolutions from incorporated municipalities within the Parish for the performance of road maintenance activities in accordance with Chapter 15 of the Parish Code of Ordinances as well as execute Cooperative Endeavor Agreements for the donation of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) from LADOTD as opportunities arise. Mr. Thomas J. Guess was reappointed to the Board for FD#6 and Mr. Patrick Rachal was reappointed to the Board for FD#4.
The Agenda item that seemed to draw the most dissension was the passing of a Resolution to adopt the Speak Your Peace Civility Project which encourages Council members and those attending the Council meetings to discuss Parish business and citizen concerns with respect and civility. Council members Rodney Bedgood and Patsy Ward-Hoover both voted against the motion. The Initiative promotes 9 tools of civility that will provide increased opportunities for civil discourse in order to find positive resolutions to the issues that face the Parish. They are 1) Pay attention; 2) Listen; 3) Be inclusive; 4) Don’t gossip; 5) Show respect; 6) Be agreeable; 7) Apologize; 8) Give constructive criticism; and 9) Take responsibility. Council member Ward-Hoover suggested that the Resolution was more appropriate for a church and didn’t believe that it was proper for the Parish Council. Councilman Bedgood gave no explanation for his dissent.
During Mr. Verret’s Report for the Dept. of Public Works, he asked the Council to be aware of a new policy the Department intends to implement that will better insure that garbage and waste being brought to the Parish Landfill is actually waste from Parish residents and not from contractors or non-Parish locations.
During her report, Parish Treasurer, Debbie Miley, requested the Council allow the Agenda to be amended to introduce a budget revision for the Dept. of Public Works to account for Capital Outlay projects and to include the purchase of equipment. The Ordinance will be voted on at the February meeting.
NOTE FROM NICK VERRET: Mrs. Vicky Jordan’s Comments During Last Night’s Parish Council Meeting
One of Mrs. Jordan’s comments during last night’s Council meeting was relative to a motor grader parked for several days at the Ajax Community Center.
Since this is not the normal park-up location for the Parish grader assigned to that area, I did not think this is our grader, but I didn’t want to state such during the meeting, since sometimes the park-up locations do change based on work locations at any given time. However, this morning I confirmed that our grader is not parked at this location, thus, it must belong to LA DOTD.
I wanted to call Mrs. Jordan to advise her of this, but we have no record in our Customer Service Database of any recent calls from her[which contradicts some of her other comments during the meeting] and no phone number is listed in the phone book for her or her husband, nor could I find one on the Whitepages website.
By copy to Mrs. Frederick, I am asking that the meeting minutes reflect that I made this determination about the grader subsequent to the meeting, and ask that she also forward this e-mail to the members of the Council for their information.