Parish Council: From disagreements to dazed and confused

APC meeting Nov 20

The Parish Council appointed and reappointed several citizens to various boards at its meeting Monday night, Nov. 20. All but one were approved without discussion. The appointments passed were Kathy Carter and Arshundae Perry to the Natchitoches Parish Children and Youth Planning Board and Jill Morgan to the Natchitoches Parish Planning and Zoning Commission. Travis Guin was re-appointed to the P&Z Commission. William Dowden III and Marc Custis were re-appointed to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 4.

The re-appointment of Vanue LaCour to the P&Z Commission was vehemently opposed by Director of Planning and Zoning Greg Lemoine. “Our work relationship has been contentious since the first day,” he said. “I do not want to work with this man anymore and I strongly urge the Council not to re-appoint him.”

Councilman Chris Paige said he found it distasteful to hear Greg bringing up his issues with LaCour and Parish President Rick Nowlin said he felt comfortable with the reappointment. However, when it came to a vote, Mr. LaCour’s reappointment died for lack of a second.

Tensions escalated at another point in the meeting, when Council members Rodney Bedgood, Paige and Patsy Ward Hoover voted down the adoption of the 2018 budget.

It all began when Councilman Doug de Graffenried proposed several amendments to the adoption of the ordinance for the 2018 budget.

Adjustments to line items for expenditures, whether by an increase or decrease, within any fund shall be restricted to not more than 10% cumulatively. Additional adjustments beyond the 10% shall require a budget amendment and council approval.
Any employee receiving a pay increase exceeding 4% since Aug. 31 shall not benefit from a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Any employee who has received a pay increase exceeding 4% since Aug. 31 shall not qualify for an increase in pay during Fiscal Year 2018.

Council members passed the first amendment (Paige voted no). Bedgood, Hoover and Paige voted against the second and third amendments. It then seemed like no one really knew what they were voting on anymore and in a state of confusion Bedgood, Hoover and Paige voted down the 2018 budget.

When the error was realized, Paige quickly made a motion to reconsider. The 2018 budget was brought back to the table and passed with a unanimous vote from the Council.

Other agenda items included:
Introduction of ordinance to change zoning classification of a 34.683 acre parcel on Fulton Street from I-A Industry-Agricultural to R-1 Residence District for single family residences. Rhodes Property and Development is in the process of developing a subdivision on this land, but hasn’t decided on lot size or any other specifics at this time.
Introduction of an ordinance to make amendments to the 2017 Operating Budget
Change Jan. 15 meeting to Jan. 22 in observance of MLK Day
Change Feb. 19 meeting to Feb. 20 in observance of President’s Day
Allow Head Start Centers to close Friday, Feb. 1 so teachers can participate in training
Enter into a Professional Services Agreement with CivicSource for the administration of an online auction and sale of adjudicated properties

 

7 thoughts on “Parish Council: From disagreements to dazed and confused

  1. “…dazed and confused.” The Three Nutsketeers can’t escape their ignorance. They must be registered Obstructionists.

  2. I would like to know why there are trees still not taken care of that were blown down in April, in Goldonna? I’ve talked to Mr Nowlin with no result and also Mr Bedgood with no results. Like I told Mr Nowlin, I feel that just because it’s Goldonna and a small town we are thrown away for no help from people that are suppose to help.

  3. Although my Dad was on the jury for years, years ago, I confess this is only the second meeting I remember attending. I don’t think the majority of residents realize the varying scope and pressure the Council members face today. I think they are doing a good job with the limits placed on them by funding and public censor. These council members all have to have other jobs to provide for their families. They are working very hard to learn about taxes, budgets, state law, head start, library expenditures, roads, fire districts, parish planning, garbage, courthouse upkeep, and many, many more things. Perhaps more people could volunteer to become educated on issues and help their representative rather than citizen them. Different opinions are to be expected and are necessary to explore all options. When all can agree to differ peacefully, then compromise and advancement will be achieved. In summation, I say thank you to each who serve.

  4. This is insanity. I want to know, other than at the polls, how can we hold our council representatives accountable for doing the work to find out what is being proposed and know it before taking their seats for the meeting? What is the point of running for the office if you aren’t going to invest in the process and do your homework? Nothing personal against anyone there, this is simply a professional failure and I, for one, expect my representatives, regardless of level, to research what will be voted on so they can make an educated decision. It’s not hard. Really, it’s not.

  5. Council members passed the first amendment (Paige voted no). Bedgood, Hoover and Paige voted against the second and third amendments. It then seemed like no one really knew what they were voting on anymore and in a state of confusion Bedgood, Hoover and Paige voted down the 2018 budget.

    THE (3) KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK AGAIN!! How many votes have they had where they didn’t know WHAT they were voting on? This voting for something just because the other 2 did is not the way things are done. They have had how long to read and understand the budget before time to vote? It’s not the time to have a kneejerk reaction when you are about to have a important vote! I’m sorry but this is UNEXCUSABLE!

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