Town of Richwood Minutes, June 15, 2017

Regular Meeting Minutes Thursday, June 15, 2017 7:00 P.M.

Members in Attendance: Alderperson Simeon Profit Alderperson Donald Richard Alderperson Janice Fleming Alderperson Leola Keys Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland

The Town of Richwood met for a Regular Meeting held on June 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Richwood Multi-Purpose Center, 2710 Martin Luther King Drive, Richwood, Louisiana to consider the following business:
I. Meeting Called to Order by Mayor Gerald Brown at 7:00 p.m.
II. Prayer- was offered by Alderperson Simeon Profit
III. Pledge of Allegiance – recited in unison
IV. Roll Call- Mayor Gerald Brown called roll with the following results: All (5) Board Members Present

Present: Alderperson Simeon Profit Alderperson Donald Richard Alderperson Janice Fleming Alderperson Leola Keys Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland
V. Adoption of the Agenda- Alderperson Leola Keys motioned and it was seconded by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland to add to the following items to the agenda:

1. Public Works Director and Code Enforcer to the Budget
2. Reappointment of Town Officials
3. Ordinance 2016-02 on the agenda

* A vote was taken with the following results: 4 Yeas and 1 Abstain

Mayor Gerald Brown – requested discussion concerning restitution still owed to the Town of Richwood by Mr. Ed Harris be added to the agenda.

* It was voted by all 5 Alderpersons to add to the agenda: Discussion of Restitution Still Owed to the Town of Richwood by Mr. Ed Harris.

* It was motioned by Alderperson Leola Keys and seconded by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland to adopt the agenda with additions.

* A vote was taken with the following results: All (5) Board Members voted yes to adopt the agenda with the additional changes.

Alderperson Simeon Profit yes Alderperson Donald Richard yes Alderperson Janice Fleming yes Alderperson Leola Keys yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland yes
VI. Adoption of May 18, 2017 Minutes:

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- indicated Mrs. Davis was shown as an alderperson and needed to be removed.
* It was motioned by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adopt the minutes for May 18, 2017 with the change as indicated.

VII. Financial Reports:
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland -asked about the collection of sanitation.
Tanisha Jolla (Fiscal Officer)- advised the Town collects from the businesses and pays Delta Disposal.
Mayor Gerald Brown- commented what he was seeing on the report was for commercial.
* It was motioned by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland and seconded by Alderperson Janice Fleming to adopt the Financial Report as presented.

VIII. Mayor’s Dialogue:
Mayor Gerald Brown- reminded the Board of the District C meeting in Tallulah, as well as the LMA Meeting in Shreveport. Mayor Gerald Brown- thanked the Board as well as the citizens for being with him during his first year in office.

IX. Public Comments as it Relates to Agenda:
Donyea Walker- addressed the forum concerning bringing a fun center to the Town of Richwood.
Mayor Gerald Brown-advised Mr. Walker his comment was not part of the agenda and he could contact either him or the Town Clerk to be added on the next month agenda.

X. Monica Fields: Requesting to Open a Club on Hadley Street
Monica Fields- addressed the forum and advised she had purchased the property on Hadley formerly known as Club PC, and she has the proper security and liquor license to open.
Valeria Williams- stated the Board needs to give them a chance because they were not affiliated with the previous owners, and her crowd would be 21 years old and older.
The parties also advised they already have a lawyer to sue if they are not given the opportunity to open.
Attorney Jay Nolen (Town’s Attorney)- asked who was their attorney?
The Presenting Parties- replied they were not going to say.
Attorney Jay Nolen (Town’s Attorney) – advised they cannot come and threaten the Board with a lawsuit to get the club open.
Attorney Jay Nolen – Advised he had spoken with an attorney regarding a club and some of the Towns Ordinances, and some of the ordinances do need to be updated.
Mr. Vince Edmonds- advised they are not threating the Board and advised Attorney Nolen their attorney’s name is Attorney Campbell.
Attorney Nolen – indicated he would give Attorney Campbell a call.

XI. Adoption of Resolution 2017-03 (A Resolution Selecting the Monroe Free Press as the Official Journal of the Town of Richwood)
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the Free Press has been our official journal for the past year and they provided the lowest quote.
* It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to accept the Free Press as the Town of Richwood’s official journal.
A vote was taken with the following results: 5 Yea Votes (Resolution Passes)
Alderperson Simeon Profit yes Alderperson Donald Richard yes Alderperson Janice Fleming yes Alderperson Leola Keys yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland yes

XII. Adoption of Resolution 2017-04 (A Resolution Supporting a College of Osteopathic Medicine at ULM)
Mayor Gerald Brown – advised ULM reached out to the surrounding municipalities in Northeast Louisiana and asked for a resolution of support to open a medical school at ULM.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised North East Louisiana does not have a medical college in our area, and it will encourage some of our residents to perhaps stay local when they finish, which will improve Northeast Louisiana’s economic growth.
* It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland to pass Resolution 2017-04.

* A vote was taken with the following results: 5 Yea Votes (Resolution Passes)

Alderperson Simeon Profit yes Alderperson Donald Richard yes Alderperson Janice Fleming yes Alderperson Leola Keys yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland yes

XIII. Adoption of Resolution 2017-05 (A Resolution Authorizing the Town to Enter into a Sub-lease agreement with Southern Youth Movements)
Alderperson Janice Fleming – requested updated figures on the cost of the project.
* A motion was offered and seconded to table this issue until more information could be obtained.

XIV. Adoption of Resolution 2017-06 (A resolution Authorizing the Town to enter into a sublease agreement with Economic Entrepreneurial Development Services of Louisiana, Inc.
* It was motioned by Alderperson Simeon Profit and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to table this issue.

XV. Public Works Director and Code Enforcer:
Alderperson Leola Keys- indicated she felt the Public Works Department was in need of a Director.
Alderperson Leola Keys- stated per the draft of the budget this department has a budget of over $ 290,000.00 and the public works department needs someone over it to manage the department.
Alderperson Leola Keys – stated due to all the dilapidated houses in the area, the town needs a Code Enforcer.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the forum that the Public Works Department had a Supervisor; and the Town Clerk was the Code Enforcer. Mayor Brown further advised the forum pertaining to the Code Enforcement situation, he was discussing with Judge Noel, concerning if Judged Noel would be the Hearing Officer.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised property owners must have due process before the Town can enforce a fine on the property owners’ taxes.
Alderperson Leola Keys -motioned that a Public Works Director and Code Enforcer be added to the budget.
Mayor Gerald Brown – inquired as to the salary for these two positions, and commented he would need to review the Lawrason Act concerning the legality of what the Board was requesting.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland – advised the salary would be around $22,000.00.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- seconded the motion to add a Public Works Director and Code Enforcer salary to the budget.

* A vote was taken with the following results: 4 Yeas, & 1 Abstain vote
Alderperson Simeon Profit Abstain Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland yes

XVI. Reappointment of the Town’s Officials:

Alderperson Leola Keys- advised the Town is under the Lawrason Act and not a Charter, and per the Lawrason Act, the Town Clerk and Chief of Police, must be reappointed every year.

Mayor Gerald Brown – advised this is not in the Lawrason Act.

Attorney Jay Nolen- advised per the Lawrason Act the Town Clerk, Chief of Police, and Town Attorney are appointed every term along with the Mayor, and those appointments are made by the Mayor and the Board is to vote.

Attorney Jay Nolen- advised if the Mayor choses to fire one of the appointed officials the Board must vote to dismiss them.

Mr. Leo Kelly- stated the Town had set a precedent, where these positions would come up every year for vote, and does not know why the attorney does not remember.

Mayor Gerald Brown – stated if this was done before, it was out of order.

Alderperson Janice Fleming- advised she did not see that in the Lawrason Act.

Mr. Leo Kelly- advised Alderperson Fleming to call the Attorney General.

* Alderperson Donald Richard motioned and Alderperson Janice Fleming seconded to table this issue.

XVII. Ordinance 2016-02 (An Ordinance to Reimburse the Council members the sum total of $8,075.00)
Alderperson Leola Keys- stated this ordinance was passed by the Board on April 21, 2017 and there is no need for a motion, second, nor a vote, because this has already been passed.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised Alderperson Keys Mayor Jackson vetoed this ordinance.
Alderperson Leola Keys- advised that was a typed signature so it does not count.
Attorney Jay Nolen – advised the Board it does count.

XVIII. The Former Mayor Ed Harris Restitution to the Town of Richwood
Mayor Gerald Brown- informed the Board he received a call from the Legislative Auditor ‘s Office, informing him the court did not approve the Board’s request to wave restitution; and to do so is considered a donation of public funds, which is a violation of state law.
Mayor Gerald Brown- asked Attorney Nolen what steps can the Town take to restart the restitution collection from Mr. Harris?
Attorney Jay Nolen- advised he can obtain a restitution of judgement from the court, but was not sure if they will provide one since his probation was terminated.

XIX. Adjournment:
* It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adjourn meeting @ 8:36 p.m.

 

 

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