Mayor Slaughter to veto new budget
PORT ALLEN - The Port Allen City Council voted to pass a 2013-2014 city budget they've been waiting on for almost four months.
But Mayor Deedy Slaughter said Wednesday if the budget was passed with an amendment, she would veto the legislation.
Slaughter said she received an amendment last Tuesday from council members and Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain. Slaughter says the amendment was written as a "substitute budget" and excluded some of her plans for public safety, community development and pay raises for city employees making less than $40,000.
"We would have to come back to the table to see if we can get some of those items in that budget," said Slaughter.
The council voted 3-2 with the adopted amendment. Councilwoman Ray Helen Lawrence and Councilman Brandon Brown voted against passing the budget after they say they were not included in the writing of the amendment.
"Councilwoman Ray Helen Lawrence and Councilman Brandon Brown was not included in the meeting to make amendments to the proposed budget," explained Slaughter. "I ask that they would give them an opportunity."
"In preparation of your budget, we were told it was you and Dr. Slaughter," said Councilman Hugh Riviere. "I'm just asking if they had input in yours?"
The back and forth is putting weight on the Chief of Police and his needs. Chief Esdron Brown is asking for money for new police units since many do not run properly.
"We're setback as far as responding, the calls we get, and it causes the city to use more money," said Brown. "The cost of constantly going to the shop and needing repairs."
The council discussed an amendment to the passed budget to appropriate sales tax revenue to cover the cost of the purchase of four new police vehicles, but tabled that amendment to rewrite a clearer legislation.
Council members who voted in favor of the budget remain optimistic.
"We'll put it together next committee meeting and we'll move on," said Councilman R.J. Loupe. "We'll move on after we get all our ordinances and amendments out of the way, it'll be voted on, it'll be said and done."
The mayor has 10 days to veto the passed budget.