Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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At feisty meeting, people demand movement on budget

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PORT ALLEN - Table talk got heated as frustrated council members and taxpayers discussed the city's finances.

"Nothing gets done," said Councilman R.J. Loupe, Jr. "The judge orders and it still doesn't get done. Now you tell me what's right and what's wrong."

Leaders moved to introduce an ordinance that would set salaries for city leaders, but the presentation hit a snag and it was voted down. As it was written, Mayor Deedy Slaughter wants salaries to begin on a date that's already passed, Jan. 1, 2013. A judge recently ordered she could collect her new salary of $85,000, but not until an ordinance was passed or a court order was given. Neither of which have been done.

Taxpayers called the mayor out at the meeting.

"When did the city council vote to amend the budget to adopt the larger salary," asked one woman. "Has that been done?"

Slaughter told her, that process is in the works.

The council has not passed a budget, which has disrupted plans for some city leaders, including the police chief who needs new police cars.

The council says they plan on revisiting salaries and compensation ordinances in the next month.



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