A comment on the live stream from Monday night’s Parish Council meeting, March 15, stated that the reason nothing gets done is because some Council members don’t know what’s going on. Another comment simply said, “WWF.” To an extent, the meeting did seem more like a dramatic wrestling event than a meeting where the Council works together for the good of Parish residents.
Ending the meeting, Council member John Salter called Parish President John Richmond a dummy, an asshole, and invited him to catch him outside.
Council member Patsy Ward Hoover tied with Salter for contentious moments throughout the meeting while her unsilenced cell phone caused repeated interruptions.
One moment of controversy arose when Council Clerk Cheryl Frederick asked the Council to approve an amendment to the agenda requesting design exceptions for the existing bridge on Clark Road over Bayou Bourbeaux (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW).
A unanimous vote is needed to add an item to the agenda and Hoover voted no because the item was received past the deadline to add items to the agenda. Engineer Nick Verret explained that he didn’t know of this until the last minute. He added that if the Parish Council delays the resolution a month it would be delaying the completion of the state project by the contractor and the Parish could be held liable for damage delay claims.
Another issue pertained to an email from Richmond to the Council members where he asked them to go over the information in the packets they receive in advance of the meetings and ask questions of the department heads so they can be well informed before the night of the meeting. Richmond made this request based on the number of agenda items that have been tabled recently because Council members, Hoover in particular, have claimed a lack of information. Hoover was not happy with Richmond’s request.
“This kind of stuff is what’s really hurting the Parish,” said Council President Chris Paige, who was trying to keep order and be the voice of reason. “Let’s do what’s right. Let’s understand the issues at hand.”
Yet another issue occurred when the Council approved an agenda item to provide notification to IBTS of an intent to renew or terminate the current agreement for services in regard to being the Parish Certified Building Official and the conducting of all required building inspections.
Executive Assistant to the President David Kees commented that Hoover made it known on numerous occasions that she doesn’t like the third party contractor. Hoover denied this statement, calling Kees a liar. Salter jumped in saying, “Sue him and run him out of town.”
During the Parish President’s report (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW) Hoover asked about dissolving the Payne Subdivision Sewer Board. The Louisiana Community Block Grant Association, who would be funding the rehabilitation of the sewer system in the subdivision, told the Parish that negotiations with the current owner, TESI, have gone on long enough and told the Parish it needed to pull out of negotiations. TESI is a problem that needs to be dealt with as they own other systems in the Parish.
Paige informed her of the Council Attorney’s recommendation to not dissolve the board so that if it’s necessary, they can take legal action against TESI as they’re the ones that have been hurt the most through this process.
Hoover would not accept Paige’s explanation, adhering to her belief that the board needs to be dissolved.
This is a general overview, but feel free to watch the entire video: https://youtu.be/nOVdhgjHxbU
First Introduction of Proposed Ordinances:
Ordinance 005-2021 to enter into negotiations of a donation of the Creston Polling Place building to landowner and in exchange for indemnity and hold harmless from any causes of action asserted as a result of the condition or structure of the building
006-2021 revision to the Natchitoches Parish Personnel Manual.
Approve Ordinance 003-2021 to effect a zoning change from Industrial-Agriculture District to a Business-3 District for the purpose of establishing a gym with a restaurant and coffee shop on a 1.350 acre tract of land in Robeline
Adopt Ordinance 004-2021 to effect a zoning change from Industrial-Agriculture District to a Business-3 District for the purpose of establishing a convenience store on a 2.51 acre tract of land in Campti
Adopt Res. 018-2021 that the Parish has complied with all requirements of the Federal Off-System Bridge Replacement Program
Approve Res. 017-2021 to send to the Attorney General for a ruling on the purchase of a Front-End Loader
Other Agenda Items:
Award contract for the replacement of the roof of the front section of the Live Oak building. This building has a slate shingle asbestos roof, which has been leaking. Replacing with 30 year architectural shingles. Hargrove was $41,273
Accept resolution passed and signed by the Town of Campti, Villages of Ashland, Village of Goldonna, Village of Natchez, Village of Provencal, and the Village of Clarence as an official request for road work to be performed within the incorporated limits of Campti, Goldonna, Ashland, Natchez, Provencal and Clarence for the time period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021 and to approve such work to be performed within that time period.