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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH COUNCIL

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, STATE OF LOUISIANA

TAKEN A REGULAR MEETING HELD, MONDAY,

August 19, 2019

5:30 p.m.

The Natchitoches Parish Council met in regular and legal session in the Council Board Room of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, on Monday, August 19,2019 for a Regular of Natchitoches Parish Council meeting at five (5:30) o’clock p.m. and for the Natchitoches Parish Council Meeting.

The Parish of Natchitoches was then convened as the governing authority by Chairman Rodney Bedgood who stated that the Parish was ready for the transaction of business.

The invocation was given by Councilman Doug de Graffenried and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Councilman Russell Rachal.

After the roll call there were present Chairman Rodney Bedgood and Council: Russell Rachal, Patsy Hoover, Doug de Graffenried, and Chris Paige.

Absent: None.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item was to recognize any invited guests.

Chairman, Bedgood stated the next agenda item we will hear the report of the Public Works Director, Mr. John Richmond. Mr. Richmond had already sent all his written but wanted to update the Council on Road Pulverization. Mr. Richmond also There are 4 roads that’s on the list for this, Allen Beulah Road, Sportsman’s Lodge, Clark Road, and Old River Road. Mr. Richmond also gave an update on the Special projects, Kayla Drive and Beau Vista Road.

Chairman, Bedgood, then recognizes Ms. Sharon Harris, OCS/Head Start Executive Director. Ms. Harris wasn’t present, but her report was sent. Councilwoman, Hoover wanted to know if anyone could tell her an update on Head Start. Ms. Lockhart, begins to say, “Head Start has extended the Grant for another month for us to close out everything, to get the buildings moved, but is waiting on the final word from Dallas Head Start to move the building because they have to remove Federal Interest, get the contractors lined up and issue PO’s. The last estimate I heard was about 50 percent or maybe a little less have been offered jobs, don’t know if they’re going to take them, that’s not official from Head Start that’s from people coming into the office to fill out paperwork. The last day of this month the Parish Government would be out of the loop. What has to happen by the last day of this month, we have to identify all cost, they have approved my full budget; we’re good with the dollars, I have to draw down the money and I’m holding it for our reserve for unemployment, I’m going to put it in a separate Bank account and hold it there, if we do not use it in a year to 18 months we have to give it back, but if we do have unemployment claims we get to use that money to fund those.”  The Parish would not have to pay any money for unemployment benefits if any is filed from those Head Start employees.

Ms. Lockhart, stated, “As far as her report she mailed out everything including a check register for Head Start Trial balances, if anyone has any questions, I’m open to questions.”

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Interim Director of Planning and Zoning Mr. David Kees, Jr. Mr. Kees, begins by saying, “I  sent out my permit report, and the bill from ITBS, we took in about $14,000 in permit fees in July  and we paid IBTS $8,785 included in that occasionally Mr. Runnels, with ITBS has to go out, we had a complaint in our office that somebody was possibly using a commercial shed build behind their house, Mr. Runnels went checked it out, and he wrote me a little letter to say they was not in fact using it for a commercial shed that it was only a garage they was working on their own cars so we do occasionally get a little benefits that we’re not even being charged for in that, other than that is there any questions?”

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Parish President.

Parish President, “Thank you Mr. Chairman, I’m going to go over a couple of the items and I’ll answer questions on any you may have.”  

CAPITAL PROJECTS:

Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase IA: The Parish has submitted the plans and specifications for Phase IA to Facility Planning and Control for its review and approval.  The scope of work includes improvements to east end of Miller Drive and the repair of certain base failures in the subdivision.

Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase II:  House Bill 2 (Act 20) of the 2019 legislative session includes an additional $300,000 for street improvements in Payne Subdivision.  The Parish match amount is $100,000.  The Parish Engineer will prepare the plans as soon as the plans for Phase IA have been completed.   The State Bond Commission approved its share of the project at its meeting on July 18, 2019.   

Courthouse Security Improvements:

ADA COMPLIANCE:

HC Ramp (Main Courthouse):  We met with the architect to review possible design revisions to the HC ramp.  As soon as the design is finalized and a new cost estimate is available, we will re-advertise the project.  The Parish has been advertised for bids and the mandatory pre-bid conference was held on August 13, 2019.  Six potential bidders attended the conference (attendee list attached). 

SOLID WASTE:

Solid Waste Scale House:   The project has been on hold pending the execution of the new solid waste agreement.  In addition, the Office of Head Start has offered to donate the two HS classroom buildings in Mansfield to the Parish.  One could be used for the scale house office and the other as additional storage for public works.   The Parish is waiting on removal of the federal interest in the buildings.   

Transfer Station:  The Parish received one proposal on July 30, 2019.  Waste Connections offered $2,500.00 per month for use of the transfer station.  We recommend that the Parish accept the proposal and award the contract to Waste Connections. 

U.S. D.O.T. “BUILD” PROGRAM:

On June 25, 2019, the Parish attended the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs program.  Attendees were representatives of local governments in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi.  One of the sessions featured personnel from the U.S.D.O.T. who provided information about federal transportation opportunities.  During the Q&A session, we complained about the lack of any non-state projects being funded in Louisiana and asked for a review of the project evaluation process.   DOT recommended the Parish resubmit its applications for the new round of funding.  The DOT also offered to meet with us after the applications were filed to allow the Parish to make an in-person presentation to DOT in Washington, D.C.  We thanked DOT for its interest in our situation and plan to refile our project applications.  The applications were refiled.

Parish President, stated, “The last thing I would like to bring up is last month the Council didn’t approve the MOU authorizing the Parish President to execute an agreement with the Natchitoches Community Alliance for economic development services, which was in the budget, if the Council would indulge me, I would like to ask to have permission for Mr. Tony Davis to address the Council for just a few minutes, unless it’s an objection.”

Mr. Tony Davis went over a report that was given to the Council after the June meeting denying the agreement for the Parish to pay. Mr. Davis went over the background of the Natchitoches Community Alliance, the Initial Action, CLED (Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance) and NLEP (North Louisiana Economic Partnership, which Mr. Davis has representation on both Boards. Parish Action, NCA Organization, which includes Rick Nowlin, Lee Posey, Dr. Chris Maggio, Laurie Morrow, Ryan Todtenbier, Josh Manuel, and Kirk Solieau. Mr. Davis, continued by explaining the Current NCA Activities, Business Retention and Expansion, Business Recruitment, Workforce Development and lastly Future Plans.

After Mr. Davis, had finished the Parish President asked for the Council to consider for next month putting it back on the agenda or if they would like to amend the Agenda to add it on, but he knew they needed time to soak up everything, so he would like to put it back on the Agenda for September.  

Councilman Rachal, at this time had a question for the Parish President, Councilman, Rachal begins, “Can you assure me and my District 5 that you wouldn’t sign any other Emergency Declarations according to the L. Alan McMurtry Lawsuit, that I can assure them the money would not be moved around?” and at that time Councilwoman, Hoover, was about to speak, and Councilman, Rachal, stated, “I didn’t ask anyone else to speak this was address to the President.” Councilwoman, Hoover continues, and Councilman, Rachal, stated, “Ms. Hoover, I didn’t ask you to speak, I didn’t give you the authority to speak.” Councilwoman, Hoover, “I do have the right to speak, and if the Chairman, says I’m out of order then, I only yield to the Chairman.” At this time the Chairman, hits the gavel and said, “Hold up, let’s not argue now, we’ll get one question at a time. Mr. Rachal, asked a question and I couldn’t hear all of it.” Councilman, Paige, said, “Let the Attorney speak and Mr. Nowlin, to answer that question.”

Parish President, replied, “I have been advised by the attorney that’s still an active issue in the Court.” Councilman, Rachal, replies, “I ask about any further moving of the money not about the one’s already been moved.” At this time the Attorney stated, “That’s still apart of the lawsuit.”  Parish President, asked, “Mr. Rachal, can we bring that up later in the Executive Session?” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “I want the Public to hear it, it’s their money, I want the Public to hear it.” Councilman, Paige, asked, “Can anyone make any comments? When you do some work in one person’s area it’s okay to do the work in there, but then they did some work in Mrs. Hoover’s area and it’s a whole big blowout. It’s before the Courts and there is still some litigation going on, we just need to squash that, all that Grand Standing needs to stop, for helping those people, tonight please don’t try it.”

Councilwoman, Hoover asked to be recognized, and begins by saying, “I think this judgement or lawsuit is because of Bermuda road, which is in my District and if the Council would just look at the road jobs by District just for this month District 2 12 jobs $9,520.93 and District 5, Mr. Rachal District 111 jobs totaling $70,940.69. This has been an ongoing large number running over $50,000 each month, at this time the Chairman, was trying to stop Councilwoman, Hoover because he wants to stay on track, and she asked can he let her finish, because she’s making her point, and the Chairman, replied, “Make it.” Councilwoman, Hoover continues, “The lawsuit is because of Bermuda road and it’s my District now you have the lawyer, the lawyer, has spoken, and now it’s time for us to move on.”

Chairman, Bedgood stated the next item to adopt the minutes of the regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, July 15, 2019.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt the minutes of the    regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, July 15, 2019.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda:

Appointments of Boards and Commissions

Council to consider Introducing Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

Mr. Kees explained that it’s a tract of land on old Highway 6 it’s a property about a mile and half down that belongs to Mr. John Bernard, he’s looking to sell it to Rutledge Plumbing and they would like to rezone it so they can build a shop out there to house their trucks; so it’s changing from and I-A to an B-1 to use it for commercial purposes.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider Introducing Ordinance 014-2019 for an Operating Budget Amendment.

 

Ms. Julie explained, “What we need is to move some money from Permanent Salaries of the General Fund under Admin Financial we have had a couple of unexpected losses in manpower, we’ve had an absences and we had a person to resign; so until we can get permanent replacement for those for one person and the other person returns we have to use temporary dollars so that’s why I’m asking for so we can continue to pay the bills and all that good stuff.”, any questions.

 

Mr. John Richmond, stated, “For Clarity Temporary dollars means, temporary personnel.” Ms. Lockhart, replies, “Yes, temporary personnel dollars, yes. I move it from the permanent salary line to the temporary workers line.”

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 014-2019 for an Operating Budget Amendment.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Public Hearings:

  • Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 012-2019 Budget Revision for the Solid Waste Fund.
  • Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 010-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby go into public Hearing.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige                Motion Passed

Discussion A

Ms. Julie Lockhart, “We Introduce it last month for the Solid Waste Budget we’re asking for due to the DEQ recommendations that we need more dirt at the land pit we’re asking $19,500 for that. We must pay to have it haul so that’s the $16,000 for contract hauling and what we decided that we’re going to reduce our equipment purchase by $35,000 and one of the reasons that could work is that we have a module building from Head Start in Mansfield and we’re going to use those two building for the Scale House, that’s the reason we’re able to reduce that cost.

Discussion B

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 010-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

Archie Delrie, says, “I thought this was already voted on to go on the ballot. At this time Councilman Paige, said, “This is the Public Hearing for everyone to speak on whether they want to or not. Tonight, will be the deciding factor and we should know the time frame when it can be put on the ballot to be voted on if back when we had this discussion previously it could have been coming up now, but since we didn’t its not to late.” Mr. Archie, stated, “I talked to a lot of people and they thought it was already going on the ballot, on the October ballot, but it will not be on that ballot.  Councilman, Paige, wanted the Clerk to tell if they vote on it tonight when will it be brought to the people to vote on it.”

The Clerk begins, “We thought we could make the October or November election, but the paperwork wouldn’t be done in time to get to the Secretary of State; so tonight we have the public Hearing and if it’s voted upon we’re looking to at the April’s Election; we have a timeline, I’ll give you a copy of that timeline if it’s approved tonight we have to go by this timeline.”

Carl Sias, wanted to say, “I feel like putting this on the ballot to give the people the opportunity to make a choice, I think this would be a good idea for everyone in each District to let their people to  make their decision on which Government they want. I been down to this place several times listening to the old form of Government nothing worked, but back in the days NAAA and everything was successful they had a plan, and the plan is that give the people the opportunity to tell what they want, is the Government right now is it really based on a good idea are we gaining from it. If I have a vote, I’ll vote yes, because I want to see things done proper and correct.

Janice Perry, “I was part of the Charter committee, and I hope that tonight you’ll will vote to allow the people to make the decision, I’m not here to confront you about this or that, my biggest confrontation was the people, the voters of this Parish should have a choice and the only way they would have a choice is for it to go back on the ballot, when we establishing this Charter, my question to the committee was if the people decide they’re not please with this form of Government can they revert back to the old form of Government? And everybody on that Board said, “Yes, all they have to do is to bring it back before the Parish Council and let them to do a Public Hearing and to put it back on the ballot, I’m just asking for you to give the people a choice for this form of Government or to revert back to the old form of Government. I’m disappointed that it took this long and now the people have to wait until April for whether not it be put back on the ballot, but I’m still hopeful that you’ll would come together as one and give the voters of this Parish the opportunity to decide if this the form of Government that they would like to continue with or decide  if they would like to go back to the old form of Government. I’m I pleased that Coco Bed road got done after 4 to 5 years yes, I am, that is one thing I know, I fought for and that was to get Coco Bed road done, it took some fighting years, and then it got off and we did two more years, and finally it was repaved and those people on that road was very pleased, I’m just asking for you to give the people the opportunity to vote and to decide which form of Government, that they want.”

John Hodgeson from Pardee road, “I don’t know if the form of Government had anything to do with it or not, I can tell you this, the road right now is with worse shape ever since I’ve been living here, I don’t know the change of Government had anything to do with it, I don’t know, when I move out here, when there was something wrong with a road, you could call a man, and he would come out and fix it, but when you call a man, now they don’t have any money, so all a sudden we ran out of money, and I don’t know if that had to do with the form of Government or not, but what I’ll like to see the budget changed and put some money in it for the roads, that’s the only way they’re going to be fixed, as far as going back to the other form of Government, this one is not working; so why not? Let’s try something else.”

Ronald Payne, “I don’t agree, it doesn’t make a difference about the form of Government, The issue is they are not satisfied with the Home Rule Charter and go back to something they was dissatisfied with in the beginning; I believe we have a Parish Government functioning problem. We have the same problem with the Police Jury and the same problem with the Home Rule Charter.  There was petition signed to get the Home Rule Charter on the ballot, I heard this young lady say, they had to option to go back if the deemed necessary, ok, I feel like a due process for each District to lay some ground rule instead of just saying, “I want to go back.” Let’s do it right. A petition from each District with an X number of people, I don’t know if that’s been done or not, I haven’t heard anyone talk about it, normally you would go out to talk to your constituents and tell them, about the Home Rule Charter, that is something your representative is bringing to the Council, what about a real petition, you have to have a certain amount of people to do a process, I’m not against either Government, but to me, we just came to this meeting the different people from the different Districts, the representatives decided we want to go back to the old one, Where is the procedures for like we do with other things, I know we have petitions to do a lot of things, you have to have a certain number of people signing it by a certain number of days, something like that, the only thing, I’m asking, my question is, Have a process like that been taken place for this, a written petition that show the number of people in your District wanting to go back to the Police Jury and did we meet all the State mandates to have a vote to go back?”

Councilman, Rachal, replied, “It was last year a Parish Wide petition was sent around and they had 1188 signatures half of what they needed so it failed, it was Parish wide.”  Mr. Payne, replied, “It failed to not to go back to the Police Jury.” There was other talk in the audience about all names wasn’t on the petition and a great deal of talk coming from the audience. At this time Councilman Paige, replied, “Five people that voted it wasn’t a petition.” Councilman, Rachal, said, “I’m talking about after we voted, then a group of citizens form a petition to get it to go on the ballot for a vote, We the People, I think they were called, they didn’t get enough signatures to put it back on the ballot.”  Councilman, Chris Paige, replies, “What we’re doing tonight is the process and all that other stuff you’re talking about now, is not relevant, you’re talking about 8,000 people per District, Mr. Payne, and there is no way, that is really ludicrous to sit here to talk about on, How many people to sign a petition and then when they took the petition down to certain offices they were met very aggressively as people say, so what we’re doing tonight is a process for the people of this Parish so signify it, to give the people an opportunity, a right to vote on this matter, now, I don’t know how many minutes an individual have but I think we have had this discussion and everyone can come to the podium like yourself, state what you have to do and sit down, with whatever, but we have the process in place and we’re doing what we’ll suppose to do, now these five individuals that sit up here and vote tonight, they have to deal with the people from their District and that’s where we’re at, we don’t need no petition, I’m the petition, he’s the petition, and there is five petitioners up here and we have to answer to the people tonight; so we’re ready to move forward and if there any other conversation that needs to be had that what needs to be discussed, now all this stuff about going out and getting signatures by knocking on doors and getting people to sign a petition is not going to happen.”

Mr. Payne, replied, “That is not what I was saying, matter a fact my question was really for attorney, Did the Parish meet all the prerequisites to have a vote or to have it put on the ballot?” There were other outbreaks in the audience and more talking going on. Councilman Rachal begin reading from the Charter and talking continues, the Chairman, hit the gavel, and said, “Lets move on.”

Ms. Julie, the Treasurer needed to correct the wording from Discussion A. Ms. Julie, begins, “I wanted to correct myself, my first thought was to take it from salaries after looking at it again, we actually moved it from Grant employment to had put back some money for Head Start employment, so my correct budget revision is to add $20,000 to salaries temporary workers, take $20,000 from Grant employment.”

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby close the public Hearing.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried            Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Action on Proposed Ordinances: 

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 12-2019 Budget Revision for the Solid Waste Fund.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt Ordinance 12-2019 Budget Revision for the Solid Waste Fund.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 010-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

Councilman Doug de Graffenried, stated, “I have questions, if there’s 11 Police Jurors in this proposed Ordinance right, what is their monthly salary?” Councilman Paige and Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “We haven’t gotten to that point, yet.” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “If we go back then we have to vote on that.” Councilman, de Graffenried, replied, “All parts of the Government has to go in front of the voters. So, I want to know, how much the Police Jurors are going to make?” Councilman, Paige, replied, “Mr. de Graffenried, that would be left up to the people if decided to go to that.” Councilman, de Graffenried, replied, “No, it has to be presented to the people.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “We don’t have to put a dollar amount on salaries for tonight, Mr. de Graffenried, it’s been delayed tactics after tactics, it has been delayed tactics on this matter, if you have a no vote then you vote your no, and let your constituents, which you’re going on home, let them deal with this matter, give them, the people an opportunity to vote on this matter, if it’s so good, why you keep coming up with these road blocks?” Councilman de Graffenried, replied, “Mr. Paige, I’m trying help you get it in front of the people.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “Vote yes, then move on.” Councilman de Graffenried, was calling the Parish Attorney at this time, Parish Attorney, Parish Attorney, Mr. Mansour, Is this Ordinance properly written to or formatted to bring it to the people to have an effect to call for an election, Does it set aside the Home Rule Charter, as it presented to us?”  Mr. Mansour, replied, “I have not been asked to render an opinion on the Ordinance, the election process is being handled by Foley and Judell.” The Clerk at this time, stated, “I sent the Ordinance to Foley and Judell, the only problem that they saw for now that the Ordinance didn’t have an effective date on it,

and he was worried, that since that wasn’t stated in it, it might get kicked back from the Secretary of state Bond Commission, but if something is incorrect, since it will be in April, we’ll have time to correct before the due dates.” Councilman de Graffenried, replied, “We, we have to go by our operations and the Council have 30 days to certify that it’s complete. Parish Government has to certify all the amendments and Ordinance, everything that’s in place.”

 

Ms. Janice Perry, stated, “Mr. de Graffenried, if you knew all this why, wait until tonight, before we had this Public Hearing? The Advertisement for the Public Hearing was you was going to vote to whether to put it on the ballot or not we was not told to come here to and you did go through to decipher and tweak, How much the Police Jurors made that wasn’t advertised in the paper, if you want to talk about that, that should have been advertised in the paper. You should include in the public hearing how much we going to pay the Police Jurors, you’re falsifying your advertisement, if this is what we’re going to do. We came here to hear if you all was going to vote to allow the people to put it on the ballot or not, if you don’t vote it, it doesn’t matter what they’re going to get paid or not, because if you don’t vote for it, it’s not going on the ballot; so what difference would it make.”  Councilman de Graffenried, replied, “It’s not my job to put an advertisement in the newspaper, it’s Mr. Bedgood and Sheryl.” Janice Perry, continues, “If you had that to say, you should….and everyone begins to talk. Councilman, de Graffenried, replies, “I’m asking about the procedure.” Ms. Perry, replies, “We don’t want to hear procedure tonight.” Councilman de Graffenried, “You don’t want to hear about doing it correctly?” Councilman, Paige, “This probably to protect someone fringe salary.” Councilman Rachal, asked the Attorney “Don’t you have to repeal the Home Rule Charter first?” Ms. Janice Perry, “That man, didn’t have time, or don’t know about….” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “I’m asking the Attorney and not you.” Ms. Perry, replied, “But, I’m talking to you.” Parish Attorney, replied, “If you’re asking for an opinion, I ask the Council to request an opinion, let me research it, and I’ll provide an answer. I haven’t been involved in the issue of the Ordinance that you all are discussing.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “We can do it tonight, or do it when they vote some of you idiots out, that’s what needs to happen.” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “You have an opponent to Sir.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “I have who? You paid for them, that’s what you-all do, Let’s move on Son.” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “It has to be in proper format before I vote on it tonight.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “We knew you was going to flop, everyone in Robeline, said you was going to change your mind, that’s the way you roll, they will deal with you.” Chairman, Bedgood, stated, “You-all stop calling names. Calm down. Mr. Mansour, what do you think as our Attorney?” Mr. Mansour, replied, “Ask for an opinion, I’ve not been working on this, I have not been asked to review it, there is a law firm that been advising and I’m not going to be asked in an open meeting with out any preparation to render an opinion.” Councilman, Bedgood, asked the Clerk if we do it at the September meeting would there still be time. The Clerk replied, “Yes.” The Clerk wants to know, what needs to be added to the title to make it correct? Councilman, Paige, stated, “Just those two have done this time and time, again.” There was more discussion and out breaks, the Clerk was trying to get her question, answered. The Clerk, asked, “Councilman, Rachal, since you said, it was done incorrectly, what is does it needs to say?” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “I’m under the understanding it has to be an Introduction to Introduce by title only to Repeal the Home Rule Charter, first before you proceed.” Ms. Perry, “You-all has taken that Charter and twisted that Charter every way possible to keep these people from putting it on the ballot.” There were more conversations going all over the place, and then the Chairman, hits the gavel and responds, “The only options we have is to vote on it now, or put it off until September and vote again, but it will be the same thing then.” The Clerk made a recommendation to do it for September, but Ms. Perry disagreed, and replied, “Ms. Sheryl, this is my thing, if I thought these people had the right motive, I wouldn’t mind waiting until September, let me go back, out of all the times that we have showed up here thinking that we was going to get these people to vote on this every time we showed up somebody comes with something, we need to get clarity on this, we don’t understand this, let me tell you what’s going to happen in September, Ms. Sheryl, we’re going to come back here in September and it’s going to be some more stuff, why it can not be put on the ballot. Let the chips fall as it may.”  Chairman Bedgood, said we can vote tonight on it, and if it’s wrong they will tell us if it’s wrong.” Ms. Perry, respond, “You always come up here with your conning self to do something to block the people, you shouldn’t be able to sleep at night.” Ms. Sylvia Morrow, replied, “Ms. Frederick I did hear you say; you have a document to show the dates.” The clerk, responded, “I sent the Ordinance and followed some of the wording from the Referendum in the back of the Charter.” The Clerk read the timeline out to everyone. 

Ms. Roy asked, do you have a copy of the Proposition that goes on the ballot?  Councilman, Paige, begins, “We have to wait on that Carolyn, Mr. Rachal called Mr. Bedgood and told him he wanted to change my vote; so tonight, he’s about to change his vote again, apparently. So just let vote and let the people see how people vote down here, we have had three people consistently voting to allow the people an opportunity to vote, regardless if you win or lose.” Ms. Roy wanted to know, her question wasn’t answered, “If there is a Proposition already prepared?” The Council Clerk answers, “No.” Councilman Rachal, asked, “If it fails tonight, does it have to start all over with an Introduction again, if it’s voted down, does it have to start all over with an Introduction again?” Parish Attorney, replied, “I don’t know.” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “You’re the attorney, you should know, can’t vote on anything if you don’t know.”  The Parish Attorney, replied, “Sir, if you have a question, I would like for you to present it to me before the meeting, so I can do research and respond back. I’m not the attorney that has been handling this, it’s a law firm that’s been handling this, and you’re asking me questions, I’m not prepared to answer, if you know about it ahead of time and if you will ask me ahead of time, I will prepare and I would do research and I’ll answer the question.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “I was told I couldn’t ask anything individually it has to be by Council Chairman.”

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 010-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt Ordinance 010-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilman Rachal          Motion Did not Pass

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Resolutions:

Council to consider approving moving Precinct 1-4 and 1-4A Natchitoches Parish from the Natchitoches Central Boy’s Gym, 6513 LA Highway 3110 to Restoration Apostolic Ministries, 175 Fairgrounds Road, Natchitoches, LA. This move would take effect starting with the October 12, 2019 election.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt a Resolution moving Precinct 1-4 and 1-4A Natchitoches Parish from the Natchitoches Central Boy’s Gym, 6513 LA Highway 3110 to Restoration Apostolic Ministries, 175 Fairgrounds Road, Natchitoches, LA. This move would take effect starting with the October 12, 2019 election.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige            Motion Passed

Council to adopt a Resolution approving the holding of an election in Fire Protection District No. 2 of the Parish of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, to authorize the levy of a parcel fee therein.

The question was how much the fee was and it was $30.00.

On motion by Councilman Paige, there was no second, it died for a lack of second.

Council to adopt a Resolution to establish Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District 6 Fire Prevention Bureau to conduct fire safety inspections within the boundaries of Fire Protection District 6.

Mr. Michael Sesvold, the Fire Chief from Fire Protection District 6 came to explain, “I’ve asked this Resolution to be put on the Agenda tonight it’s part of our Process which we’re been developing our Fire District to promote fire prevention and public safety within our Fire District and to improve our property insurance rating. The Resolution was copied verbatim from the State Fire Marshall Website. Our Board has already approved this Resolution and now it’s in your hands and if its approved tonight we will be established as a Fire Prevention Bureau by the State Fire Marshall Office we can conduct life safety of our commercial structures within boundaries of our Fire District, by doing that we’ll gain points for our Property Insurance Fire ratings.”

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves to adopt the Resolution to establish Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District 6 Fire Prevention Bureau to conduct fire safety inspections within the boundaries of Fire Protection District 6.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried             Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approving the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

Councilwoman Hoover, begins, by saying, “I would like to ask the Attorney and you being the Chairman of this Council to investigate this Fire District before we take a vote to make sure there is no laws being broken, I’ve heard and persons has called me to tell me about nepotism on that board and I’m asking that you all would please investigate that Fire District before we make that decision.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby table approving the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

Parish President had a question, “Mr. Chairman, I don’t know about the allegations to the nepotism, I heard there has been some questions raised about the fact the Chairman of the Fire District 1 Board is related to the Fire Chief and it’s my understanding a volunteer Fire Department that does not compensate it’s employees are Chief it’s not a violation of the nepotism law, I have not discussed this with the Attorney; so I’m not going to put him on the spot, but I know it was a State Law passed in 2014 barring same members from the same family on the same board, and there was three people from the same family and when their terms had expired the 2 or 3 went out from the Board. Now the there is no nepotism on the board, this must be about the Chief and the Chairman of the Board.”

Councilwoman, Hoover, stated, “The father is the Chairman, and the son is the Chief.” Councilman, Paige, stated, “Before we get into all of this it’s not asking much to table and make sure, we had the biggest “hoop lah”, we need to find out about this, let’s just table this.”  Parish President, “I agree, because of these allegations, we do need to make sure before this is said.” Councilman, Rachal, stated, “In regard to what Mrs. Hoover, had said that question did go to the Department of Ethics, I did see the letter since the Fire Chief was a member of the Fire Department and at least one year before his father took the Chairman position it’s not an ethics violations, it has already been ruled on.”  

Councilwoman, Hoover, “Mr. Rachal, I have a question for you, If you seen this letter and knew we was having this meeting tonight, Why didn’t you provide that to the Council, we supposed to be working as a team and especially to me since we both share that same Fire District ?”  Councilman, Rachal, replied, “Because there was not an issue, that was not on the Agenda, ma’am, they have been operating with five for years.” Chairman, responded, “I think it will be a good thing to just table it to next month, to get a chance to check into and give Mr. Sanders a chance to be here to answer themselves.”

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby table approving the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilman Rachal                     Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Other Agenda Items:

Council to consider approving the Louisiana Department of Economic Development of the following action pursuant to §503(H)(1) of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

They had a discussion on this about Alliance Exemption. The Council wanted to table this but, Mr. Kees, stated, “The email stated, if no actions is taken, this means you approving it.”

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby deny approving the Louisiana Department of Economic Development of the following action pursuant to §503(H)(1) of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Abstain:   Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood               Motion Passed

Council to approve to award the contract to Waste Connection for the lease of the transfer station.

On motion by Councilman Paige, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby award the contract to Waste Connection for the lease of the transfer station.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Visitors for Non-Agenda Items. (3 minutes)

Monique Sarpy representative from the Village of Natchez and an Alderman, “I come here to speak to Mr. Richmond we have an issue with our Compactor Station site, it needs to be graded, you can’t even get in, if you go down there tomorrow, you can look at the big pothole in the entrance way of it, it’s terrible and also the spell is a little bit better, but since it’s hot, you have maggots at the dump site we need water, something to clean that dump site up so the residents can get to the dumpsite to dump their garbage.”

Mr. Richmond, responded, “I was at that site today, when I came from Cloutierville and I saw exactly what you’re talking about, I cleared it with my truck, but no car can clear it.”  

Mrs. Sarpy, “Another issue is on Morning Star Loop, I know the tractors was there a month or two ago, the thing with the arm on it, we need some grading on the Bayou Natchez River, because when you go down Morning Star Loop there is over grown vegetation there and when they try to get to their homes back there that brush is hitting their vehicle, it’s over grown over the road.”

Mr. Richmond, “You’re asking for someone to bush hogg the road?” Mrs. Sarpy, replied, “Please if you will.”

Jackie Moore, from Ashland, “I’m going to back door on what she have said, Oil Field Road, is in bad shape to be graded and the limbs needs to be cut, my Auntie is on dialysis a dialysis patient and it’s hard times for them to be getting in and out. I’ve asked time and time again, and there is an extension off the Moore Road that I would like for to be graded also because we stay up there, ok, and I believe, Mr. Bedgood, Ashland is your District?” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “Yes, ma’am.” Ms. Moore, continues, “When was the last time you traveled that road?” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “About 3 to 4 weeks ago.” Ms. Moore continues, “Well, you might want to go down Ms. Martha Raynes road she’s still a part of that.” Chairman, Bedgood, ask, “Wasn’t they ditching up there today?” Ms. Moore, replied, “NO.” Chairman, Bedgood, continues, “They suppose to be up there ditching today.” John Richmond, responded, “They were grading up there and pulling ditches, maybe haven’t made it, but they were grading up to Oil Field Road.” Ms. Moore, replied, “They were up there last week doing that because every time, they do come up there they cut the phone line.” There was laughter, and Ms. Moore didn’t think that was funny at all, because a lot of them don’t have any cell phones, they’re still with the landlines so there’s nothing funny about that. Ms. Moore, stated, “Ms. Martha Crane is back there and she’s part of Natchitoches Parish, they can’t speak for themselves, but I’m standing here speaking for them, because they are taxpayers just like all of you all. Just check on your people out there.”

Leonard Parker, “I want to address the first issue when you were talking about grading the road, I live on the Allen Beulah Road, I want to know how the petition went about to get that approved? Because I live on that road, and I’ve seen a road down from there they done this to and it’s bad. Union Spring Road, so our road they’re going grade now, is going to be in the same shape like Union Spring? because if it is, I didn’t sign the petition when the guy came around, I was against because now, I can get out of the road without getting stuck, might have holes, but I want get stuck, I don’t get mud everywhere, that Union Spring road, is just like a regular dirt road now, so when they grade the Allen Beulah road, it’s going to be just like a regular dirt road, we’ll be worse than we are right now.”

There was a lengthy discussion on this topic and relevantly from the discussion the Council before they continue to grade these road look at the Petitions to see what the percentage of how many was signed it before they continue with the process, if the numbers is not there it will not be done.

Archie Jones, spoke, “On your petition are the people knowing their road is going to be scarified and how you’re going to do it? A lot of people thinking you’re coming in with a road millet and grinding asphalt up and grading it back in the road.” This discussion continues between scarifying and Pulverization.  

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby enter Executive Session regarding a lawsuit filed by L. Alan McMurtry against the Natchitoches Parish Government and Parish President in the 10th Judicial District Court, docket number 91312A the petition requests injunctive relief from the court to restrain the parish form certain purchases of road repair material.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilman Rachal                    Motion Did Not Pass

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda to Adjourn.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by Councilman Doug de Graffenried, that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adjourn.                  

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover            Motion Passed

Since there was no other business the meeting was adjourn