PPC refuses to ride raise merry-go-round…this weekFeb 28th, 2012 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: news
Raises for both administrative and council staff deferred
Twelve parish employees were denied raises at the February 23 council meeting. However, the three resolutions that cover these raises will be on the March 8 council agenda for further consideration.
“We are once again on the merry-go-round,” said District 5 Councilman Anthony Buras. “One person asks for a raise and everyone starts asking. When is it going to stop?”
Three positions were in the Parish President’s office; the other nine were individual district council secretaries.
Benny Puckett spoke on behalf of the administration. The first raise involved an executive assistant who has been on the payroll for one month. Puckett argued that an employee of high caliber must be compensated appropriately.
“We don’t always have a lack of applicants, but we do have a lack of qualified applicants,” said Puckett, explaining that the current position salary isn’t competitive.
However, once council members realized the short tenure of said employee, they rallied against the raise.
“When she took the job, she knew what the pay was,” Buras stated. “It would’ve been nice if Billy Nungesser could’ve spoken on behalf of his staff.”
Parish President Billy Nungesser had left the meeting prior to this agenda item.
District 3 Councilman Kirk Lepine echoed Buras’ thoughts.
“I don’t see the point in rewarding someone who started in January,” he said.
These sentiments carried through to the proposed raises of the two secretaries in the Parish President’s office.
The resolutions did not include names of the candidates up for raises, only their position titles. Council members were adamant to know who the raises were for. Puckett was adamant about keeping the names of the employees confidential.
He argued that the identities of the employees was irrelevant; the position itself was underpaid.
The council was not swayed. Both of these resolutions were deferred and will be on the March 8 agenda.
Later in the meeting, the resolution to give single district council secretaries and across the board $4,000 raise was deferred without any discussion. It too will be eligible for vote at the March 8 meeting.
Other Council Decisions:
• An ordinance to ban hunting of any kind in Woodlands Trails & Park in Belle Chasse was passed 8 – 0. The ordinance prohibits but is not limited to hunting with guns, knives, bow and arrows, and dogs. Signs will be placed in the area and a penalty for a violation of the ordinance will be established. Councilman Keith Hinkley, District 2, who offered the ordinance said sportsmen hunting hogs are a danger to residents using the walking trails.
• An ordinance to approve construction of a $1.3 million library in the Phoenix area failed in a 1 – 7 vote. Councilman P.V. Griffin of District 1 voted for the ordinance, arguing that the Eastbank has not had a public library since 1965, but the opposing council members ruled that $1.3 million in allocated funds are needed more urgently for courthouse reconstruction.
• A resolution to appoint Mr. Rene Cross as the At-Large Representative of the Plaquemines Parish Economic Development District Board passed 6 – 0. His term will end December 31, 2014. Cross will be replacing Mr. Foster Creppel.
• In a unanimous 7 – 0 vote, a resolution to approve a contract with the New Orleans Hornets NBA Limited Partnership and Quality Court Industries was passed. The contract would require the New Orleans Hornets to be responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the courts at Cypress Point Park in Belle Chasse for three years, with no cost to the PPG.
• New Year’s Eve is now an official holiday for PPG employees, after a resolution to approve the holiday was passed 8 – 1. Council Chairman Byron Marinovich voted against the resolution, due to questions raised about the fiscal impact of the new holiday. Janice Acosta, Director of Administration, said the cost of running the parish on a day off with overtime expenses ranges between $16,000 – $23,000.
• In a 6 – 0 vote, a resolution was passed to appoint Parish President Billy Nungesser, Council Chairman Byron Marinovich, Vice Chairman Keith Hinkley, Mike Ford, and Darren Barrios, Sr. as members of the Regional Planning Commission. Ford and Barrios’ terms are set to end December 31, 2014. Nungesser, Marinovich, and Hinkley’s terms are co-extensive with their public office terms.
• A resolution to appoint Councilwoman Marla Cooper, Councilman Byron Marinovich, Councilman Jeff Edgecombe, and Councilman P.V. Griffin to the Boat Harbor and Marinas Committee of the Plaquemines Parish Council for 2012 was passed 6 – 0. Their terms are set to expire December 31, 2012.