Department head ordinance passes in Port Allen

Photo provided by staff.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 9:37pm

Port Allen city council members passed several ordinances to clarify areas of question that arose during the last year. The city council tried to move and put issues of the past behind it.

Port Allen Mayor Lynn Robertson, said, "Making government more transparent and a little more clear as to the obligations of the mayor and the council ."

It was a meeting with little fireworks.

"I think the city is much less chaotic at this point. I think it restores the chance for a system of checks and balances," Claire Sarradet, former Port Allen cfo, said.

The quiet did end temporarily when it came time for a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to clarify who is a city department head and establish the cfo position as one of them.

Caster Brown, concerned citizen, spoke out defending Mayor Slaughters action in office. He stated the problems began when the former mayor fired the cfo. He said since then there's been infighting in city hall. He questioned officials decision to try and get the ordinance passed now.

"Now all of a sudden, they want to create that or clarify that which it never was. She had the right to do that," Brown said.

Coucilmember Hugh Riviere retorted,"in open court the cfo is a department head he said if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck."

In the end the council voted to pass the ordinance.

"I think it's a clarification of already established procedure and policy something that has already been successful for decades," Sarradet said. "... to restore that order to restore some sort of chain of command to the city's organization. "

The council didn't stop there. The council voted in favor of tightening up the language of the city's hiring procedures.

"Last year there was some hiring that we felt wasn't exactly transparent to the council and to the public," Robertson said. "We want to make sure the public knows what's going on."

The council also voted in favor of an ordinance that would require two signatures on all of the city's checks.

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