Another fiery council meeting, still no budget in Port Allen
PORT ALLEN - Mayor Deedy Slaughter and the Port Allen City Council met Wednesday night to discuss matters focusing on a new city budget.
The $9.7 million budget is mimicked from a prior version written by the mayor. Changes made include adjustments to budgeting for capitol outlay, drainage and sidewalks, water and gas. Police Chief Esdron Brown asked for additional funding, totalling $200,000 to lease 18 new Tahoe's to add to his fleet and says maintenance for old vehicles is eating into his budget.
The council as a whole wasn't convinced there was enough time to discuss the numbers since the mayor handed out a budget summary earlier in the evening.
"The council had enough time to study the budget, look at the budget, and make a decision," said Mayor Deed Slaughter. She originally suggested a spending plan in September.
"I requested it in open meeting last week, I sent out an email, with the same request last Thursday, and I'm just getting it tonight," said Councilman Hugh Riviere.
Councilman Riviere mentioned a possible red flag in the mayor's budget.
"The first page shows a $700,000 deficit, and that's not a good way to run/use tax payer dollars," said Riviere.
According to the budget Slaughter handed out a month ago, the revenue is at about $9 million, but expenditures are about $9.7 million.
Discussion at the council meeting was often off-topic and heated. Police asked people who were speaking out of turn, to leave.
Eventually, leaders set a special meeting for next Wednesday to work out the money problems.
The council also tried to override Slaughter's veto of an item setting salaries, which could affect some of the higher-paid city employees and raiser her salary by $20,000. The council needed at least four votes to override the veto, the vote was 3-2.