Council now requiring attendance of meetings for key gov. employeesAug 5th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: news
But can the council direct civil service employees?
The Council passed an ordinance 6-1, at their July 25 meeting requiring the Parish’s Chief Building Official or Deputy Building Official and the Superintendent of Planning and Zoning to attend all Parish Council meetings. The Council said they needed information from these offices to make informed decisions. Councilman Stuart Guey of District 4 voted against the measure.
“We have a lot of things sitting on the agenda, getting passed over because they aren’t able to attend the meetings,” said Council Chairman Byron Marinovich. Councilman Stuart Guey of District 4 was the sole no vote, siting the parish’s governmental history.
“I will not be approving this,” said Councilman Guey. “This Council cannot direct civil service employees.” In the days when Plaquemines Parish had a commission council government, the commissioners acted as both the legislative and executive branches of government. They appropriated money for projects and departments, and also directed parish employees.
Under the parish’s current form of government— council/president— the legistlative and executive branches have been separated, meaning the council holds the purse strings and the parish president directs employees.
But Councilman Turner rejected Guey’s thinking.
“The Council would be setting a policy that would direct employees, not actually directing them firsthand— that is what makes this legal,” said Turner.
Other Council News:
• An ordinance passed 8-0 that will allow the Plaquemines Parish Port, Harbor & Terminal District meetings to be held ahead of Plaquemines Parish Council meetings.
• The Council passed a resolution 8-0 approving a cooperative agreement with the state’s Department of Natural Resources for the “Plaquemines Parish Local Coastal Program.” “This is just something that gets passed along every year,” said P.J. Hahn, Director of Coastal Zone Management. “It is a standard agreement between us and the state to cooperate on projects.”
• The Council passed two resolution 7-0 with Councilman P.V. Griffin of District 1 absent from the vote, which assigned Room 122 in the Port Sulphur Government Building to State Representative Chris Leopold, and Room 124 to Judge Michael Clement, 25th JDC Division B. “This is beneficial because people won’t have to make the trip up to Belle Chasse all the time,” said Councilman Jeff Edgecombe of District 7.
• An ordinance was passed allowing Parish President Billy Nungesser to continue the implementation of the Plaquemines Parish Coastal Plan using funds from the Coastal Bonding Initiative, which are required for the construction and maintenance of the Reach B-2 Vegetative Ridge and Marsh Creation project—from Fort Jackson to Venice. So far, the state has put $4.5 million towards this project, and the ordinance passed 7-0 with Councilman Griffin absent from the vote.
• The Council passed an ordinance 7-0 with Councilman Griffin absent from the vote, which authorized the Parish President to continue using monies from the Coastal Bonding Initiative to fund the Cat Island restoration project.
• A resolution was passed allowing the Parish President to accept the donation of a counter terrorism vehicle from the city of New Orleans. “It’s really more of a hazmat vehicle, than a counter terrorism vehicle,” said Chairman Marinovich.
• The Council approved an ordinance that would allow James Williams to combine properties in Treasure Heights Subdivision. Lots 3, 4, 30A, and 31A will now be Lot 30-A.
• The Council approved an ordinance that would allow Elizabeth and Joseph Landewerlin to combine their properties in Fort St. Leon Subdivision No. 3. Lots 10 and 11, Square 1 will now be Lot 10A.