The Journal was surprised to find itself, along with other local media sources, carbon copied on an email from Parish Councilman Doug de Graffenried to the HR Coordinator for the Parish. The email responded to a letter that was issued to the Council from Parish President Rick Nowlin regarding a request for a pay raise for a Department Head. Section 4-01.B. of the Home Rule Charter states that salaries for department heads are subject to the Council’s approval. Per the Sunshine Laws of our State, all public bodies must vote viva voce (by voice) and the Home Rule Charter (Section 2-06.H) requires that all votes be made by roll call with the ayes and nayes of the members voting recorded in the Council’s minutes by individual Council member.
When contacted, Councilman de Graffenried said that he wanted the voters of the Parish to be aware of the improper actions he believed Mr. Nowlin was attempting to take with regards to this matter. The Journal is publishing the correspondence with his permission and at his request.
See Red Circle at the very bottom
This response does not constitute a vote. This matter must be handled in a duly called open meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council. The Executive branch has no authority to authorize a salary increase without Parish Council approval. The salary increase proposed is ludicrous on its face. The reasons given for the proposed increase are farcical. We are going to give an employee a huge raise for doing her job? What about the other people in administration? What about the folks working on the roads? The voters of our Parish deserve better from the Parish President.
No wonder the folks on Bermuda Road can’t get their road fixed, we are attempting to give huge salary increases to Department Heads! Actually it appears we are trying to slide a huge salary increase around the Parish Council while trying to hide behind you as the sender of the original email.
I am incredulous that this matter would be brought up in this manner. I object to this proposed action strenuously.
With due regard,
Doug de Graffenried
This response does not constitute a vote.