Posted: Sep 29, 2011 4:46 PM by Russell Jones, Sarah Rosario
Updated: Sep 29, 2011 7:01 PM
BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council scheduled a special meeting for next Tuesday to continue work left unfinished by a lack of a quorum during last night's meeting.
The special meeting will be held Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
The Wednesday night meeting ended when enough Council members left the chamber that there was no longer a quorum, which by parish ordinance meant the meeting could not continue. It happened right after an exchange with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Walker and Mayor-President Kip Holden regarding a possible deal over the Galvez Plaza Project.
That item was left without discussion or a vote, as was talk about changing the downtown library project from a new $19 million building to a scaled-back renovation. Those items will be on the special meeting's agenda, while the rest of the unfinished agenda will be moved to another regular council meeting.
Today, EBR residents told News 2 they believed Council members needed to put differences aside to make decisions.
"It's definitely concerning, if you have issues to deal with then you have to fix it, it's your job to deal with it," said Bryon Crosbie.
Seven members are required to maintain a quorum. Council members we spoke to claim the incident was un-intentional, that no one noticed they would be without a quorum until it was too late.
"It's not uncommon that people get up periodically, to talk on the phone, go to the restroom," said District 9 Councilman Joel Boe. "We had two people that were absent so we were down to 10 to start with, and we had four people who were there but not in the council chambers."
However, Mayor Holden had a different opinion about the walkout.
"I think the public can see exactly what was going on, that doesn't happen by chance," Holden told News 2.
"We elected them to make decisions and they should be available to make those," said Crosbie.