Parish Council votes to cutback Council Clerk’s position, discusses roof replacements

At its Oct. 19 meeting, the Natchitoches Parish Council voted 3:2 in favor of cutting the Council Clerk’s position from full-time to part-time (Marty Cheatwood and Chris Paige voted against). The motion was made to un-table the item from a previous meeting.

The original agenda item was to amend the Parish of Natchitoches Personnel Manual to provide that, effective Jan. 1, 2021, the job position of Council Clerk is a part-time position. Council member Jim Kilcoyne added the item to the agenda.

Kilcoyne and Chris Paige were appointed the newly formed Finance and Budget Committee at the June 16 meeting. The committee was supposed to find ways for the Parish to cut expenses to save money.

However, Paige was adamant that he had no part in putting the item on the agenda. “I don’t like ambushing people like this,” he said at the Aug. 18 meeting. “It’s not right.”

However, what didn’t seem right at Monday night’s meeting was the way this particular agenda item was voted on. Council member Chris Paige asked Kilcoyne to explain what he was trying to bring back up for a vote, for more clarity.

The Council voted to un-table the item and then voted to approve the amendment to the position, but never voted to add the item to the agenda. To add an item to the agenda so that it can be voted on requires an unanimous vote from the Council. Robert’s Rules of Order was mentioned, so it seems some clarification is needed on what the proper procedure was for voting on the item.

In other business, part of Parish President John Richmond’s monthly report to the Council was the need to replace the roof at the Health Unit and the Live Oak Building. The roof at each structure is nearing the end of its useful life. Public bid packages are forthcoming.

When questioned about the roof replacements the Council was assured the funding was available. Parish Treasurer Julie Lockhart said the Government Building Fund started the beginning of 2020 with good cash reserves. She said that overall the government building and health units funds were doing well and sales taxes are up a bit.

The Cooperative Endeavor Agreement has been received and signed. Bid documents have been completed, with the bids anticipated to be received in mid-November.

Other agenda items included:

Approve Resolution 046-2020 moving the Ward 4, Precinct 8 polling place, located in Flora, LA from its current building (Flora Police Jury Building) to the larger building (Flora Community Center) across the parking lot for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to increase social distancing at the Flora polling place.

Confirm the appointment of Mr. Greg Duggan to replace Mr. Darrell Roque to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District #5 Board.

Execute Change Order No. 1 for the Resurfacing of Streets in Payne Subdivision, Phase 2.

Engage TCBT for auditing services for Years ending December 31, 2020, December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

Award bids for “Pulverization of selected Parish Roads” to W. E. McDonald and Sons LLC Louisiana Contractors license number 8815.

Seek sealed bid proposals for materials and supplies for the Parish Highway and Solid Waste Departments.

The Council tabled an agenda item to consider reimbursement of vehicle damages received to private vehicle by parish equipment while employee was at work but not in vehicle. There was a provision regarding the Council receiving legal counsel on the matter.

Introduce proposed Ordinances:

Approve the Introduction of Ordinance #017-2020 a budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2021 and making appropriations for each Department, Project, and Account.
Approve the Introduction of Ordinance #018-2020 for Budget Amendments for the General Fund, Highway, Criminal Court, Sales Tax, and Library Funds.