Monroe City Council Minutes

0 Comments

District #1
Dr. Raymond A. Armstrong
Vice Chairman                                       

District #2                                                
Mrs. Gretchen H. Ezernack 

District #3
Ms. Betty Blakes

District #4                                                
Mr. Kenneth Wilson 

District #5
Mr. Eddie Clark
Chairman

Minutes for Council Meeting
December 23, 2013
6:00 p.m.

There was a legal and regular session of the City Council of the City of Monroe, Louisiana held this date at the Council's regular meeting place, the Council Chamber, City Hall Building, Monroe, Louisiana.

The Honorable Eddie Clark, Chairman, called the meeting to order. He then asked the clerk to call the roll.

There were present: Council members Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. Ezernack, Ms. Blakes, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Clark.

There was absent: NONE

Chairman Clark announced that a quorum was present and that the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance would be led by Mayor Mayo.

Chairman Clark proceeded by acknowledging the time for special announcements and/or communications.

Dr. Armstrong wished each one a Merry Christmas and he thanked the city workers for all of their hard worked during the recent storm.  Dr. Armstrong also read a statement in regards to the council voting down the First Transit Contract.  The citizens of Monroe deserve to know why the city council voted not to approve the contract with First Transit.  The transit workers have complained at council meetings at least four times in the past about abuse from First Transit and lack of adequate maintenance of busses.  These complaints were ignored by First Transit and by Monroe administration. Council voted unanimously in support of our employees. The buses and facilities are owned by the city.  The employees are employees of the city. There were four other applications for the job and we only turned down one.  It is the Mayors responsibility to find an acceptable management firm and he has choices.  If there is a need for an interim management firm, the Mayor has the responsibility of presenting that choice to the public and to the council.  Any talk of privatization or closing the transit system is totally not true. Monroe needs a transit system and we will have one.

Mrs. Ezernack wished everyone a Merry Christmas, safe travels and to remember the reason for the season.  She also wished everyone a prosperous 2014.  She congratulated St. Frederick High School, her alumni for making it to the dome this year.

Ms. Blakes wished everyone a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year, safe travels.  She congratulated all of the area University graduates.  She said the council voted not to get rid of the buses but to get rid of the management company, First Transit.  It does not mean the citizens will not have buses to ride and she doesn’t believe Administration will shut them down because of the Federal dollars that the city receives for Public Transportation.  If the buses are shut down by Administration then the city would have to pay back public funds and she doesn’t believe this will happen because of the city already in debt.  She stated if a decision is made to privatize the buses the city council would have to vote on it and because there are constituents from her district who ride the buses, then she will not support privatization of the bus system.

Mr. Wilson wished everyone a Merry Christmas and he thanked the Council Office Staff for all of their hard work.  He also gave his wish list for things to happen  in 2014 for the districts.  He said after talking to Administration and the Chairman, he would like to have a tour through all of the Districts with Engineers, Developers, Architects and the media to travel through them  so as  to make all of the Districts better; he said this has been done in the past and would like for this to take place again.   He thanked Chairman Clark for being a champion and fighting for the cause for District 5 and entire Southside over the years.  He read a scripture from Luke which ended his communications.

Mayor Mayo wished everyone a Merry Christmas.  He commented about statements made by Council Members and said that the Council’s vote on the Transit issue was irresponsible because there was no communication with Administration regarding their vote.  He said he as well as the Council was voted in by citizens.  The Home Rule Charter sets out specific things that are to be done.  He said he guess they knew the bus contract had come to an end and to move forward there had to be a vote.  There are issues all over and council eliminated everything without input to work on some things.  He said Council was a lie to say that Administration ignored them.  He said this year has been a year of power struggle and irresponsible government on some parts.  We all make mistakes but we have a Council who is trying to create a Kingdom for themselves in all the things they have done.  He knows the citizens are not pleased as well as with the Administration and it has been expressed and we do everything to correct it.  As Mayor he hasn’t been left with many options when there is no contract in place and who wants to do away with public transportation because a high population depends on it; but when the decision is made with an irresponsible vote with no input from the Administration, then we the Administration have to look for options.  He said he will not let the Council continue to do things and run the city in the ground and said to read the News Star on Sunday and he will give them examples of things that have happened this year.   

Chairman Clark thanked Mayor Mayo for his kind comments.  He thanked everyone for coming and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and said this is the season to be jolly and happy and this is where we are.  He thanked the Council, Mayor and Administration for all of the hard work this year.  Chairman Clark said it not perfect and citizens may not be happy on either front, but the Council is doing its best to push things forward and make it a more equitable fashion for everyone and the Mayor and his Administration is doing the same thing, hats go off to them for all of their hard work as well.  He said thank you to the Department Heads for talking with the Council Members to help move the Districts forward and appreciate all of the hard work that all of the City workers do.

 Upon a motion of Ms. Blakes and seconded by Mr. Wilson the minutes of the Legal and Regular Session of December 10, 2013 were unanimously approved as presented. (There were no comments from the public).

*PRESENTATIONS:   Representative Marcus Hunter: Proposed plan to pass a state law requiring $10.00 minimum wage for the people employed in the city limits of Monroe.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  NONE

PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS:  NONE

ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS: 

(a)  Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the Bids of Fuqua Paper of Ruston, LA, Guy Paper Co. of West Monroe, Parker Wholesale of Bastrop, LA and Central Poly of Linden, NJ for a one hundred and eighty (180) day supply contract of Janitorial Paper Products Ref# 85-0793 as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with the specifications of this bid. All of these vendors comply
with the specifications of this bid and has been cleared by the Tax and Revenue Division. The
Divisions will be billed according to purchase. Funds will be derived from the Inventory
Account, which has a balance of $105,771.36.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the Bid of Insight, Inc. of Ruston, LA for Telescopic Bleachers for the GYM at Emily P. Robinson Community Center Ref# 85-0364 as recommended by the Director of Administration as meeting the specifications of this bid. Insight, Inc. meets the specifications of this bid and has been cleared by the Tax & Revenue Division. The estimated cost of this project is $28,950.00 and funds will be derived from the Capital Account, which has a balance of $105,771.36. (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Dr. Armstrong said he was in support of the bleachers but wanted to know why is the money coming from the Port Authority Trust Fund and what did the Port Authority have to do with bleachers. 

It was corrected by the Mayor and David Barnes that the funding source was not the Port Authority but it was the Public Trust Authority.

Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Ross if the gym was opened because he noticed kids were practicing and that he had been getting calls about kids wanting to go in and play basketball.   Mr. Ross said it is not officially opened but they are letting some kids come in for basketball because of basketball season and they are heavily monitored; one concern is the liability factor, because of the removal of the ceiling with some of the ceiling hanging down it could cause a problem and that they do have adults present who are watching.

(c)  Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the Bid of Trenton Appliances of West Monroe, LA for a Freezer at the Zoo Ref # 85-
0691 as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with the specifications of
this bid. Funds for this will be derived from the Zoo Capital Account, which has a balance of
$135,225.34.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes asked if this was the same bid that came before Council; Mr. Joe Clawson said it was the same item that was going out for bids and what is being replaced is the 70 year old freezer.

(d)  Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the Bids of Unisource of Jacksonville, FL, Aoss Medical, Monroe, LA, Dixie Paper
Company, Minden, LA, Fuqua Paper Supply, Ruston, LA, Parker Wholesale, Bastrop, LA and
Guy Paper of West Monroe, LA for a one hundred eighty (180) day supply contract of Janitorial
Products Ref# 85-0794 as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with
and meeting the specification the bid. All of these vendors complies with and meets the
specification of this bid and cleared by Tax & Revenue Division. Funds for this will be derived
from the Inventory Account, which has a balance of $105,771.36. (There were no comments from the public).

(e) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the Bids of Industrial Mill & Maintenance Supply, Crossett, AR, Grainger, Alphanetta, GA, Civic Enterprise, West Monroe, LA and Stay Safe Distributors, West Monroe, LA and MSC Industrial Supply, Shreveport, LA for a one hundred eighty (180) day supply contract of Work Tools, Raingear, etc., Ref # 85-0795 as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with and meeting the specifications of this bid. Each of the vendors complies with and meets the specifications of this bid and cleared by Tax & Revenue Division. Funds for this will be derived from the Inventory Account, which has a balance of $105,771.36.  (There were no comments from the public).

RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:

Department of Administration:

RENEWALS

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and were voted upon in the following manner:  Item #4, Sixth Street Salon-1026 N.6th with  Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. Ezernack, Mr. Wilson voting no; Ms. Blakes abstained; Mr. Clark voted yes, with the 2014 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit not being renewed.  Item #5, El Jarrito-1304 Lamy Lane with Dr. Armstrong, Ms. Blakes, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Clark voting yes; Mrs. Ezernack abstained to approve the 2014 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit.  Item #’s 1, 2, 3 and 6-30 were unanimously approved for the 2014 renewal applications for Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.

*Comments:  Mr. Jerry Sandifer came forward and spoke in regard to the renewing of a Liquor license for Sixth Street Bar and Grill and he said that he has been at this for two years and at that time he was before Council to have the license removed from the Bar.  They were assured by the Council two years ago that the establishment had new management and that they could control the situation.  He said he believes the Bar has changed ownership twice. On Saturday night he had to call the Police and was told by them that since it was a club they could not control the noise that came from the club.  He said the door to the club is propped opened and the noise travels down the street and the neighbors in the area cannot sleep and that it goes on from 10:00 p.m. - 2:00 am.  He said that MPD called him back around 1:00 am and stated that the club owner would call their off duty officer and would inform them they had complaints and would shut the door.  He stated he was asked by the officer if he wanted to file a complaint and he said yes.  He said he doesn’t know what else to do about the situation because the Bar is a noise nuisance.

*Josh Nicholson, owner of Sixth Street Bar came forward and stated that since he has opened this is the first complaint that he has been notified of and have tried to keep the doors closed and have music at a level bearable as possible and not upset the neighbors.  He said he has tried to do some things since getting his license and the first time he was warned about a few things; the trash, (doesn’t let patrons take anything out of the bar),  loitering was another and they got  off duty police officers to get rid of them at end of the night; the loud noise, they try to keep the doors closed but it hard when you have people  coming in and out of the bar; parking, we had an agreement with the business owner across the street to park there and keep their parking lot clean.  He said he is separate from Scrubs and although it looks like one business, it is two separate businesses and can’t control what Scrubs does and can only control what happens at his business. 

*David Peavon came forward and stated that the noise was one issue and a lot of other things have happened.  He said the last time he spoke about the bar that Councilwoman Ezernack had stated that they would put them on notice and if anything else happened that the bar would not be approved.  He asked Mrs. Ezernack if that was correct, she agreed it was.  He said the noise is still there and he’s not saying the owner is a bad guy or they are not trying but a bar just doesn’t belong in a neighborhood environment.  He said an incident happened not too long ago is one of the patrons at the bar after hours shot a firearm three times in the parking lot and one of the bullets entered the house next door in the kitchen.  Although no one was harmed, this is not acceptable anywhere and would suggest being put on notice as far as he is concerned is enough notice and hopefully the members of the Council will agree with this.

*Mr. Clark said to bring clarity to the issue he stated information about the incident from the police report that someone sent to him.  He said there were shots from the gun fired but according to the police report the firearm went off in the bar and not three shots fired in the parking lot and when the firearm went off it went through the wall, hit a rock and bounced through the house next door and owner of the house next door stated that he didn’t want to press charges only a hundred dollars for repairs.  This is what the report stated.

*Mr. Peavon continued to say the owner of the house filed a complaint and asked for a police report.  The person renting the house from the owner because of this incident moved out of the house.  He said a friend of his was staying in the house and this is who they referring to that made the response on the police report.  A witness said the shots were fired from the parking lot.  This person who responded on the police report was friends with the person who shot the gun.  He is not sure the police talked to everybody that was involved.  The owner of the house is very upset and the police did what they could but they talked with the people who were involved with the gun and he felt the story was somewhat biased in their favor. 

*Mark Kerry, employee of Sixth Street Bar expressed his concerns about the renewing of the license for the establishment.

*Councilman Wilson asked Chief Holmes if any reports had been received on the bar.  Chief Holmes stated that both sides as they told the occurrences of the incident to council were correct.  The incident happened on July 26, 2013 and the gunfire happened inside the bar as was stated. He further explained the incident as it being an accidental discharge.

*Councilwoman Blakes asked if it had been six occurrences at the bar within this year.  He said it has been six incidents that occurred this year.

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved twenty-seven (27), 2014 renewal applications for Class B Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved three (3), 2014 renewal applications for Class C Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (There were no comments from the public).

(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved two (2), 2014 renewal applications for Class D Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (There were no comments from the public).

(e)Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved one (1), 2014 renewal applications for Class F Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (There were no comments from the public).

(f) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved two (2), 2014 renewal applications for Class G Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (There were no comments from the public).

Department of Planning & Urban Development:     NONE.

Legal Department:    NONE.

Mayor’s Office:

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved  to Adopt  Resolution No. 6169, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor of the City of Monroe, to prepare and submit an application to the Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment Grant 2014 for Petroleum and Hazardous Substances under the Federal Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act in the implementation of the inventory of Brownfield Sites in south Monroe; providing for necessary documentation of the inventory and providing other matters in connection there with.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes asked Mr. Fisher if there was a specific area that the grant application was being applied for.  Mr. Fisher stated there was no specific area, as this grant is for assessment only, there is no targeted area.

Department of Public Works:

Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6170, authorizing Monroe Regional Airport to advertise for bids for the Airport Parking Lot Security Fence, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Council:

(a) Upon a motion by  Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes  with Mr. Clark, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Blakes voting yes; Dr. Armstrong and Mrs. Ezernack voting no, to Adopt Resolution No. 6171 by the Monroe City Council Supporting a proposed bill by local legislator to pass a state law requiring $10.00 minimum wage for the people employed in the city limits of Monroe and further providing with respect thereto. (Council)

*Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack commended Rep. Hunter on his endeavors.  She said she could not support this endeavor because raising the minimum wage in the city limits would put the City of Monroe in direct competition with Sterlington, West Monroe and the Parish for new businesses who would have options  to select where they would wish to do business and be profitable.  She also stated that increasing the minimum wage in Monroe would reduce the number of entry level jobs available which would result in less hiring.  She continued by stating that we need to support our existing businesses both small and large and but the major brunt would be felt by the small business community.  Cost to conduct business would increase with required wage increase as well as payroll and other taxes resulting in less profitability, reduction in workers or possible closure of businesses.  Taking it one step further she stated if businesses were to close this would result in empty businesses in our community, which would cause landlord and owners to compete with other landlords and sellers by reducing, asking renters sales prices thereby resulting in below market sales and leasing.  Fees which impact the overall market value.  She asked how would you handle businesses with multiple locations in the community that are located in Monroe, West Monroe and Sterlington, such as banks, restaurants to name a few.  Those were some of the questions she had and impact she felt and being in commercial real estate she said she had knowledge of the some of the items that she read off.   She stated that small businesses are struggling and to put the added burden would possibly put some of them out of business if they were required to do this, it would certainly cut back their work staff.  Some of these questions should be spoken about and answered during this discussion, but felt it would have a negative impact and the businesses would be at a negative competitive advantage with neighboring communities.

Mr. Wilson commended Rep. Hunter for championing this cause, it is needed.  He said certainly something needs to happen, if not $10, maybe $9 or $8, certainly something need to happen.  He said he spoke with some city workers and some of them make $7.80 an hour who have been here some of them for 12 years. 

Ms. Blakes thanked Rep. Hunter for his efforts and asked if it is passed when would it go into effect.   He thanked Ms. Blakes for her question and answered her question by saying that it is entirely up to the Council.  He is hopeful to have it on the ballot by November 2015 and if it is passed it would go into effect in January 1, 2016.  Rep. Hunter also stated that it could take place in his absence, as the Council could agree to have it take effect immediately.  Ms. Blakes then asked Rep. Hunter for clarification if he was asking Council to place this on the ballot.  Rep. Hunter said he is willing to do whatever it takes for there to be an intelligible, meaningful discussion on the minimum wage increase.  He further stated  to the Council if they feel that they are going to put forth the voice and the will of the people that they represent and it can be done by the vote of the Council, then he said he would step back and allow them to do that.  He said he has no intentions of stepping on anyone’s toes and is not doing it by artifice subterfuge.  He said he would like to see it get done, as this is what’s most important to him.  He said if Council feel it should go to  a vote and the people are informed between now and the election cycle, then he is agreement with that.  If Council wants him to champion the cause in Baton Rouge with his support, he said he is willing to do it.  He does want us to start so that we can see what  numbers we want and can live with and when it can take effect.  

Representative Hunter stated to Mrs. Ezernack that his intentions is to have the minimum wage increase in Monroe, West Monroe,  the Parish of Ouachita and also to do a separate bill where it would be Statewide.  He said he does not want to hurt Monroe’s chances of improving their situation by attaching the City of Monroe to the City of West Monroe.  He said he represents all of the city limits of West Monroe and Bawcomville and does not want to put a bill together that would be presented strictly for Monroe and West Monroe together because our interests are not always interests of West Monroe and vice versa.  He said the problem is that he has to be diverse enough to move between both and come up with something that works.  He said he is not trying to create a competition where people would leave their businesses here and go across the water.  He wants to see that Monroe and West Monroe stand on their own merit and  the Parish if they choose and the State.  He said he refuses to have one bill killed because one part of town does not agree with it, this is why the bills will be run separately.  He wants everyone to have their own say and stake in this bill, because we are all going to sink or swim together. 

Dr. Armstrong said his concern is that we may hurt the people we are trying to help.  If we raise the rate, he thinks some will lose their jobs and they may go someplace else.  We may lose some business.  He said this all may be mute if indeed the Senate passes the Fair Compensation Act that was considered before. 

Mayor Mayo commended anyone who would bring a proposed resolution  to increase minimum  for the City, community.  He said he heard about it during the last Council Meeting when Chairman Clark mentioned that Representative Hunter would be at this meeting tonight.  He said he didn’t know how much conversation that Chairman Clark and Representative Hunter had but they were obviously looking for a Resolution or endorsement from the Council.  He said it surprised him because there was no communication with the Administration and with him specifically in terms of  what his thoughts or ideas were concerning this. He said we all would want support of our workers, particularly the lower paid workers, but getting the agenda and not knowing the specifics of it he went by what was on the agenda and that was $10, but in this meeting he heard different amounts.  He said he knew Representative Hunter was coming before Monroe City Council but had no idea that he was trying to address some of the other areas because as Councilwoman Ezernack indicated as he saw it was putting Monroe in competition.  He said as they ran the numbers and with 1100 employees and only about 77 make lower than $10 an hour.  If this is increased to $10, it would cost the City of Monroe, $250,000 in addition and this is just on salaries.  He said keeping in mind that we have a 2% rate increase that is coming up, so that is another $300,000.  This would cost the City of Monroe about $500,000.   He said as indicated by Councilman Armstrong indicated, the people that we are helping do we hurt when we look at this.  If you go to the City of West Monroe and they don’t accept this proposal then the cost of  operating would increase.  A hamburger in Monroe could cost $2.50 and West Monroe, $1.50 and we could lose the opportunity for people to get hamburgers when they are traveling and this  is just being used as an example.  There are a lot of things to consider when talking about addressing increasing the minimum wage.  He told Representative Hunter he didn’t know if he was aware of the Supreme Court Case, New Orleans vs some more folks.  He said he was told the La. Supreme Court shot it down; he said he just got the information and had not had opportunity to read through it and didn’t know if Representative Hunter had looked into it.  He asked Representative Hunter had he looked into the La. Supreme Court Case.  Representative Hunter asked Mayor Mayo if he could give him the site information.  Mayor Mayo offered him the information that he had.  Mayor Mayo said those are his concerns as it related to the minimum wage proposal increase.  He said it could cause job reductions in full time workers, summer workers as this Council requested additional summer workers for this past year and it could affect future summer workers, temporary workers,  the number of employees we have, rate increases, salary increases; could impact a number of things administratively, his concern and not having sat down and talked about it prior to this.

Chairman Clark said since moving back to Monroe, he has always come to these and other meetings.  He said  you always hear why we cannot do things as opposed to reasons why we can do things or how we can go about getting things done.  A glass half empty is a glass half full it how you perceive it.  He said before he went to college he was blessed to work at the City Sanitation Department dumping trash.  The guys that worked there made minimum wage.  He said went he went off to College and Graduate School he did some research and the City of Monroe pays temp services $14-$15 an hour, approximately, not absolutely, would have to get the absolute number, but who in turn pay the workers minimum wage.  We do that to keep from paying insurance, let’s not pull the wool over the people’s heads.  He said whatever the temp service that is used and whether we are hiring seasonal workers, we are paying them more than $10 an hour, they turn around and pay the worker a few dollars an hour and they keep the rest and profit, but it’s all done in an attempt not to pay insurance, benefits, etc. and this is a business decision.  Mr. Clark said let’s start looking at ways how we can go about getting things done in a positive manner. We are trying to help and look at ways we can help our lower tier workers to put bread on their table.  He said businesses have a way of padding their cost of services so nothing is lost, it has always been passed off to the consumer anyway.  We can get this done, it’s just how it is fashioned and appreciate everyone’s efforts whether you are on the pro side or the con side. 
     
(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes with Dr. Armstrong, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Blakes voting yes; Mrs. Ezernack and Mr. Clark abstained,  to Adopt  Resolution No. 6172, reappointing Councilman Eddie Clark to the Board of Directors of the I-20 Economic Development Corporation, and further providing with respect thereto.(Council) (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack made a statement about the appointment of Mr. Clark to the I-20 Board.  She stated there were two individuals on the Council who have the experience and expertise to serve on the I-20 Board.  She said she and Mr. Wilson have both served on the Board and that she has commercial real estate experience.  She stated she would gladly serve but was not asked to serve which resulted in her being self-nominated and due to the personal agendas, her nomination was not seconded, even though she was the most qualified person.  Mrs. Ezernack said she feels it is Council’s responsibility to constituents to select the most qualified members who possess the knowledge and expertise for all of the committees to move the City forward.

(c) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson with Dr. Armstrong, Ms. Blakes, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Clark voting yes; Mrs. Ezernack voting no; was approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6176, reappointing Mr. Charles Theus to the Board of Directors of the I-20 Economic Development Corporation, and further providing with respect thereto. (Blakes)  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6174,  approving the appointment of Ms. Rowena Sledge to the Board of
Directors of the I-20 Economic Development Corporation , and further providing with respect
thereto. (Wilson).  (There were no comments from the public).

(e) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6175,  approving the appointment of Mr. Johnny Bryant to the Board of Directors of the I-20 Economic Development Corporation, and further providing with respect thereto.(Armstrong)

Comments:  Atty Louis Scott, I-20 Economic Development Corporation came forward to make a correction to the name of the Board being Corporation and not Commission.  Chairman Clark asked that the record would reflect Items B-E to be "I-20 Economic Development Corporation”.

Mr. Clark commented that he wanted to thank the Council and Administration in trying to fashion some type of remedy that would help all sides of town that will benefit everyone in the City of Monroe.  We are moving things forward, including the I-20 Board forward for the business leaders who were present at the Council meeting and thanked them for coming and for their help. He stated we know that the people in South Monroe will come up to the table and everyone will be on a level playing field and this is our way of moving things forward.  After the vote, Mayor Mayo stated effective immediately that he was removing Mr. Clark and Mr. Theus from the I-20 Board.  Mr. Clark stated there would be no comments on the Mayor’s actions and said that the Council has done what others have asked them to do and that is moving things forward.  He said we will get there in the City of Monroe.

Department of Community Affairs:

Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6176,  authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor to enter into a contract with Land 3 Architect, Inc. for final plans for restrooms for city recreational facilities and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no comments from the public).

Police:  NONE.

Fire Department: NONE.

Engineering Services: 

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to consider request to authorize the Purchasing Manager to advertise for bids on Evangeline
Street Drainage Improvement Project. The estimated cost of this project is $1,000,000.00. (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack said this Improvement Project taking water to the Bayou area, traveling north rather than the natural flow of water south would also reduce the volume of water in all of the canals which drains to the South of the City and would be relief there in addition to draining this to the Bayou area.

INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance authorizing James Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute an Advertising Agreement between the City of Monroe and Onyx Advertising, LLC at the Airport and further providing with respect thereto. (Airport)  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack asked if Council could receive for the second reading of this Ordinance the attachments to this agreement since they were not included in packets. 

Dr. Armstrong said he was sure this was put out for bids and asked if there were any people from Monroe who put in for this bid.  Ron Phillips answered that there were three proposals received, a company from Lake Charles, North Carolina and another from this area.  He said the percentages were thirty percent for the companies in Lake Charles and North Carolina and the company selected would pay fifty percent and was the best qualified to provide the service.

Ms. Blakes asked if this contract was for five years.  Mr. Phillips said that was correct and he stated it was standard. 

Mr. Clark said the Ordinance was up for Introduction tonight and the only problem that he has with it is the five year he stated anytime you have a contract in a municipality and it extends beyond the current term of the Mayor, etc., then that is a problem for him.  Mr. Phillips said that would not be a problem, that adjustments could be made. 

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION:

(a) Ordinance No. 11,449, Ordinance amending Chapter 30.5 Entitled Smoke-Free Air Act, Section 30.5-7 Entitled Prohibition of Smoking in Outdoor Public Places and further providing with respect thereto.(Legal) was offered for final adoption by Mrs. Ezernack and on her motion seconded by Dr. Armstrong was unanimously approved and adopted.

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing:

Comments:  Ms. Jennifer Haneline explained that the Amendment was to alter the footage allowing people to smoke on patios.

Ms. Nell Bradley  said there were studies which indicated second hand smoke does not cause cancer.  She mentioned that Ms. Summersgill was not present to give her information that she requested on what is being voted on tonight.

Seeing no one else come forward the hearing was declared closed.

(b) Ordinance No. 11,450, was offered for final adoption by Mrs. Ezernack and on her motion seconded by Dr. Armstrong with Dr. Armstrong, Ms. Blakes and Mrs. Ezernack voting yes; Mr. Clark and Mr. Wilson abstained to adopt Ordinance authorizing the acceptance of a Donation from the Fort Miro Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of a World War II Memorial on the grounds of Monroe City Hall and further providing with respect thereto.(Armstrong)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing and seeing no one come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack said that she attended an event this year on the grounds of City Hall that honored Veterans and that we do not have anything currently that honors WWII vets and this is a long time coming and a great donation to the City.

(c) Ordinance No. 11,451,  was offered for final adoption by Mrs. Ezernack and on her motion seconded by Ms. Blakes was unanimously approved and adopted to rename an existing street name from Ferrand Street to Armand Connector. This change will occur from Armand Street to Sterlington Road (an approximate 1,605 section) and further providing with respect thereto.(P&Z)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing:

Comments:  Ms. Nell Bradley came forward to state that she was not for or against this item, but wanted to remind everyone that the City just recently did a planning map and things are being changed again.

Seeing no one else come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

(d) Emergency Ordinance No. 11,452 was offered for final adoption by Dr. Armstrong and on his motion seconded by Mrs. Ezernack was unanimously approved and adopted declaring the need for immediate repairs to the existing 27 inch sewer main between Grammont Street and Ouachita Ave. and further providing with respect thereto. (Public Wks.)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing and seeing no one come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

CITIZENS PARTICIPATION:

1. Ray Jones stated the City of Monroe is a great City to live in and that he is excited about 2014.  He is also proud to be a part of the SEDD and that it is a good piece of Legislation for the city and is looking for champions to make it work.  He thanked Representative Hunter for bringing forth the $10 minimum wage proposed legislation.  He believes people can come together and reason and talk about it.  He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

*2.  Fredie Everett stated he was appalled that Council would oppose the Mayor for I-20 appointments.  He  said once the Council was elected they established their own agendas.
He said Council had tunnel vision, which is no vision at all and continue to fight with the Mayor over nothing and once elected have forgotten about the constituents who elected them. 

*3.  Mr. Hackney asked if all of the buildings had different footage for smoking.  Mr. Clark said he would have Ms. Haneline answer his question, but to continue on with his comments. 

There being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:48 p.m., upon motion of Ms. Blakes and seconded by Mr. Clark.

Mr. Eddie Clark
Chairman

Carolus S. Riley
Council Clerk

Jacqueline Benjamin
Council Secretary

*For extended details on the council meeting please call the Council Clerk Monday-Friday at 329-2252 to schedule an appointment to listen to the minutes tape.

+ Click To View Comments

Featured news

Back to Top