Parish President vetoes council vote taken on clerk’s job

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By Carolyn Roy, Carolyn@natchitochestimes.com, 318-352-3618 ext 219

The Parish Council will hold a special called meeting Monday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. in the council meeting room, 211, in the courthouse. The council will consider a motion to rescind council action Oct. 19 to remove Ordinance 012-2020 from the table and its vote to approve it.

The ordinance sought to amend the personnel manual and make the parish clerk’s job part-time instead of full-time and set a part-time salary. It called for the job to be no more than 25 hours a week and set the salary range between $14.42 and $24.04 per hour depending on skill of the employee. The ordinance was introduced at the August meeting and underwent a public hearing. The vote was to come at the September meeting but instead was tabled.

At the Oct. 19 meeting, Councilman Jim Kilcoyne, who first introduced the ordinance, motioned to take the item “off the table” and it was voted on with Kilcoyne, John Salter and Patsy Ward-Hoover voting yes and Chris Paige and Marty Cheatwood voting no.

The Natchitoches Times, the legal journal of Parish Government, has received a legal notice that Parish President John Richmond signed a veto of the ordinance Nov. 3 at 11:25 a.m. The notice was received by Council Chairman John Salter Nov. 3 at 12:55 p.m. Richmond said in a letter to Salter and the Parish Council, respecting and agreeing with the opinion of the Natchitoches Parish District Attorneys, he was vetoing the ordinance because of its apparent violation of the Louisiana Open Meeting Law.

The tabled item was not on the Oct. 19 agenda and should not have been considered or voted on according to the La. Open Meeting Law.

Salter said Tuesday he was unclear if rescinding the vote will enable another vote at the special called meeting or if the vote must come at the regular meeting Nov. 16.