More transparency for Port Allen
PORT ALLEN - Council members in Port Allen voted on a new law Wednesday that will bring more transparency to city government.
The new ordinance requires two signatures on every check. Before, the city only required one signature and it was from the mayor. People say adding another name will keep the city leaders honest, especially when bringing in a new mayor.
"It was just better checks and balances in government, and I certainly felt the same way," said Mayor Lynn Robertson. "I know I would not want to sign some of these large checks by myself and I think the public needs to know that we're trying to keep things as transparent as possible."
The change was recommended by the state legislative auditor. Besides the mayor, the mayor pro tem, the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer can sign checks.
It is one of the first steps forward since voters recalled the former, controversial mayor Deedy Slaughter last year.
The city also agreed to spend $190,000 for new police cars. The council says that's a first - no police chief in Port Allen has ever been given that much money up front for new police units.
Chief Esdron Brown says it's needed, since he has a number of units that no longer run. He says he plans on buying six new Chevy Tahoes to patrol the city.
"They'll have striping and cages, and all that," said Brown. "It's been a long process. The officers have needed it, the moral has dropped because they've been riding in such old cars. They guys are real excited to hear they're going to get some updated equipment."
Brown says the old cars will be sold at auction.