Town of Richwood: July 19, 2018 Minutes

Regular Meeting Minutes
Thursday, July 19, 2018
7:00 P.M.
Members In Attendance:
Alderperson Simeon Profit Alderperson Donald Richard
Alderperson Janice Fleming Alderperson Leola Keys
Absent: Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland

The Town of Richwood met for a Regular Meeting held July 19, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Richwood Multi-Purpose Center, 2710 Martin Luther King Drive, Richwood, Louisiana to consider the following business:
I. Meeting Called to Order by Mayor Gerald Brown at 7:05 p.m.
II. Prayer- was offered by Alderperson Donald Richard
III. Pledge of Allegiance – recited in unison
IV. Roll Call- Mayor Gerald Brown called roll with the following results: All (5) Board Members Present

* The record shall reflect (5) Alderpersons present at roll call and Present:
Alderperson Simeon Profit Alderperson Donald Richard Alderperson Janice Fleming Alderperson Leola Keys Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland

V. Adoption of the Agenda-

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the Board, Police Juror Pat Moore was here and there was a matter concerning lighting they would like to discuss with the Board tonight and if possible, could she be added to the agenda as Item XII, to be presented after the presentation by the Red Cross.

It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to add Police Juror Pat Moore to tonight’s agenda as Item XII.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken with the following results: All (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to add Police Juror Pat Moore to tonight’s agenda as Item XII.

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

* It was then motioned by Alderperson Simeon Profit and seconded by Alderperson Janice Fleming to adopt tonight’s agenda.
* The record shall reflect a vote was taken with the following results: All (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to adopt tonight’s agenda with the amendment as presented to add Police Juror Pat Moore to tonight’s agenda as Item XII.

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

VI. Adoption of June 21, 2018 Minutes:
It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adopt the June 21, 2018 minutes as presented.
* The record shall reflect a vote was taken with the following results: (3) Alderpersons voted Yes to adopt the June 21, 2018 minutes as presented (1) Abstain Vote and (1) No Vote.

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Abstain Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland No

VII. Financial Report:
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated he had a couple of questions…
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- asked what was the name of the business referenced on page 2 Number 14386 which shows as Batteries + Bulbs?
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised Alderperson Cleveland that was the name of the business.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- questioned, what where the checks showing payable to Ouachita Parish Police Jury and Score on page 1?
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised, these were not payments but rather funds received from them; and any check paid out would be designated by parenthesis around the item.
It was then moved by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adopt tonight’s Financial Report.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken with the following results: All (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to adopt the Financial Reports.

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes
VIII. Mayor’s Dialogue:
Mayor Gerald Brown- reminded the Board of the upcoming LMA Meeting to take place in Lake Charles from July 31, 2018 to August 2, 2018.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised they had some questions about the work being done at the intersection at Richwood Road # 1 and Martin Luther King.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised this is phase 1 of a project to update the technology for the cameras that are on the signal lights, as well as there will be some electronic type signs that will be added to the side of the road.
Mayor Gerald Brown- thanked the Board for the work that is being done, and stated they are now at the half way mark of the administration; and what you’re doing is being noticed all over the parish; I was recently asked to sit in on a committee to hire the next assistant principal for Robinson Elementary, and that is a testament to what you guys have done.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the budget is prepared and should have hit the journal today, and as they are aware it has to be in the journal for 10 days and then a public meeting will occur thereafter, and he is asking the Board for a meeting on July 30th.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- inquired about the audit?
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised we are at the 3rd stage of the audit which is findings, and Mr. Akanji and his team should be here Monday to try and complete that, and hopefully by Thursday or Friday to the Legislative Auditors, and then you should have your copy.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated, as of now we are on the non-compliance list until we complete this?
Mayor Gerald Brown- indicated, yes, we are.
Mayor Gerald Brown- inquired of the Board if everyone was in agreement to have the Special Meeting on July 30, 2018 @ 10:00 a.m.?
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- asked, “do we get paid for that?” because I’ll be at work.
Mayor Gerald Brown- stated, “No Sir, y’all will have to pass an ordinance if you want to get paid for Special Meetings.”
Mayor Gerald Brown-advised, he has the opportunity to partner with a couple of gentlemen in the area, Mr. Digennaro Davis, a coach at West Monroe High School, and Daren Moody, who works at State Farm; Mr. Davis has a program, “Just Run the Play,” which is a community activist type program where he works with children, young people.
Part of his program, which he has just began, is called the “ Play Maker of the Month,” where young people ages 0-25 can be nominated to be this particular play maker of the month. He has asked several people to make these nominations, I was one of those people, and our nomination for the month is Mr. LeMarquez Washington; Mr. Washington is a recent graduate from ULM, in Pharmacy, he has worked with several youth leagues in terms of T-ball, Baseball, football. He is a graduate of Richwood High School, he was a Salutatorian down there, where he played football and baseball as well. He is 25 years old and meets the criteria for this reward.
I think that this is something we need to think about doing, we hear talk about the negative, but this would give us the opportunity to highlight the positive. You can go to “justruntheplay.com and vote for Mr. Washington, or who else you may like to vote for every day, and at the end of the month he will tally the votes. I believe right now Mr. Washington is in 2nd place.

IX. Public Notice- * Read by Mrs. Charlotte Rainwater*
* The Public Notice concerning the upcoming call for election to vote on the Millage Rate Renewal.
X. Public Comments As They Relate to Items on the

** Due to No Public Comments, Agenda Moved Forward**

XI. Presentation from Red Cross-

Wanda Foust (Volunteer Services Specialist with Red Cross)- addressed the assembly and discussed the merits of volunteerism as well as services offered by the Red Cross to families and individuals in need.

XII. Presentation by Police Juror Pat Moore-
Police Juror Pat Moore- addressed the forum and advised this has been a project underway to have done for a longtime , and this is a $2,000,000.00 dollar project, and the reason she was here tonight was to update the public on what is currently going on pertaining to the erection of a possible overhead bridge across from the Ollie Burns Library.
Police Juror Pat Moore- advised this is to address the number of accidents and deaths which have occurred in this area. Juror Moore advised she has been addressing this issue of Safety since 2008.
Police Juror Moore- advised the forum that she and Dr. Ollibeth Reddix represent at least two-thirds of the population of Monroe City and Richwood. Police Juror Moore stated she felt the Ouachita Parish Police Jury should bear the cost of maintaining the maintenance of the bridge because #1 the Richwood Road # 2 is a Parish road, of the dollars they have available, as compared to Richwood dollars and the police juror’s dollars.
Police Juror Moore – stated she is proposing a fund be set up and the designated entities should share in placing monies in this account for a term of 10 years in the amount of $2500 or $3500 which ever is agreed upon for the 10 year term, and the Town of Richwood would deposit $200 per year to this fund for the 10 year term to take care of any painting, or possible maintenance issues.
Police Juror Moore- indicated she is proposing also that the Town of Richwood to be responsible for the mowing of the bridge area, which they already do as part of their State contract.
Police Juror Moore- the proposed phase 2 would consist of lighting the area and the sidewalks, and that she is proposing that the lighting be a shared cost, but tonight she is asking that Richwood would maintain the grass and keeping the area grass and litter free, and for the maintenance if Richwood commit to contributing the $200 per year.
Alderperson Janice Fleming- inquired if there was a dollar amount given for the maintenance.
Police Juror Moore- stated at this time no there was no dollar amount available at this time the only thing they indicated cost would be to cut the grass and keep the area litter free.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- inquired what would happen if the Town of Richwood wanted to own the bridge, would the application still go through?
Police Juror Moore- indicated yes, the application would still go forth, however please keep in mind if the Town of Richwood owns the bridge, they would bear any liabilities associated with the bridge and the maintenance of the bridge.

XIII. Adoption of Resolution 2018-06 (A Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Enter into an Agreement with the Law Offices of Russell A. Woodard, Jr. LLC.)
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the Board Attorney Woodard had agreed to represent the Town with the negotiations of the legal matters pertaining to RCC and Monroe City as well as other legal matters pertaining to beds etc. with RCC for a ten percent fee as opposed to a twenty-five percent fee.
It was then motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Janice Fleming to adopt Resolution 2018-06.
Alderperson Janice Fleming -questioned the $5,000 fee amount referenced in #3 of the presented contract.
Mayor Gerald Brown- indicated this was just an example and was not necessarily the actual amount.
*** A discussion ensued as to the availability of the Town’s attorney to take care of this matter and what fees he would charge.
** It was then motioned again by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adopt Resolution 2018-06

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken with the following results: (4) Alderpersons voted Yes and (1) vote No to adopt Resolution 2018-06 . (A Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Enter into an Agreement with the Law Offices of Russell A. Woodard, Jr. LLC.)

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland No
XIV. Adoption of Ordinance 2017-09 Amended; (An Ordinance Amending Ordinance # 2017-09 Sec.6.2.1, Notification of lot Owner, Sec. 6-2.2 Authority of Town to cut Grass and Weeds)
Mayor Gerald Brown – reminded the Board this was introduced in our last meeting.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- inquired, if this ordinance provided the Town the right to go on private property and cut grass if it has not been cut in 2-3 weeks?
Mayor Gerald Brown- indicated it was not quiet that simple, but in a nutshell yes, but it must go to the code enforcer first, and at some point, within the process this would provide the Town the authority to cut the grass if needed.
** It was then motioned by Alderperson Janie Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adopt Ordinance 2017-09 Amended.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken with the following results: (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to Adopt Ordinance 2017-09 Amended; (An Ordinance Amending Ordinance # 2017-09 Sec.6.2.1, Notification of lot Owner, Sec. 6-2.2 Authority of Town to cut Grass and Weeds)
Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

XV. Discussion on Southern Youth Movement-
Mr. Perroyt Epting- advised he wanted updated the Board on the financial situation.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- stated he had a number of financial commitments which fell through, and he has met with a number of the employees regarding his inability to pay the employees.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- stated that he is doing everything in his power to resolve this issue, and have received a number of commitments from attorneys, and commitments for fundraisers
Alderperson Wysinger- stated, the issue of there not being electricity at the building he felt the Town would have been liable if anything would have happened to any child.
A Public Attendee- addressed the forum and stated that his son did a job, and his son should be paid; and as far as the Mayor stating that not having electricity in the building was not a health hazard, come on that everyone knows that is a health violation.
Alderperson Leola Keys- addressed the forum and stated she did not know it was 100 degrees in that building.
Mr. Perroyt Epting-stated that when the temperature began to increase, he called the Mayor himself and stated he was going to shut the program down, and as far as the safety issue, he kept the children hydrated, and did make the decision before any one’s child was in any harmful condition because of the heat, to shut the program down.
Alderperson Janice Fleming- stated she did not know anything about what was being said, you came in last week stating the building was hot and you shut the program down.
Secondly correct me if I am wrong, we only rented you the building, we let you have the building on a 90 day, the building only, am I correct?
Mr. Epting – commented yes.
Alderperson Janice Fleming- so that means the Town is not responsible for monetary things that is going on with your people; maybe I am not understanding, how someone is holding us responsible for something first of all I knew nothing about, and some reason we should have been called together in a meeting to discuss if there was something wrong. First of all you just came before us last month saying everything was fine, and now we have people which are disgruntled, what is the problem?
Alderperson Leola Keys- inquired why all the people were present in the meeting?
Mrs. Linda Clark- stated, they are here because they have not been able to reach Mr. Epting, and they are asking is this the Town’s Recreation, and if the Town is responsible for paying the employees for the monies owed to them?
Mayor Gerald Brown & the Alderpersons- answered no, this is not a budgeted item, and this is not operated by the Town.
Questions*** Concerning if Mr. Epting has funds to pay the employees?
Mr. Epting -commented he is planning fund raisers etc. to get the money to pay the employees.
Public Attendee- inquired what can the Town or the People in general can do to make this right?
Alderperson Janice Fleming- stated, the only thing we can do at this part is fundraisers, the funds in the Town’s Budget, is already dedicated to specific things.
Alderperson Simeon Profit- stated that we already know what is going on, and we are behind you, we need to go ahead and get together and do what we can do.
Mr. Ward- stated, he has been around a long time, and this young man came up with a good idea, but you don’t go into business unless you have financial purse; you put all your horses in the front not behind the wagon, what he did was get financial commitments but not the money, now he is in a predicament where he can’t function. Now, he is going to have someone come in and help, he tried to do it by himself, but everyone needs help.
Let’s not keep this blaming, there is too much of a blame game.
** Continued discussion on possible resolutions to resolve salaries due**

XVI. Adjournment:
It was motioned by Alderperson and seconded by to adjourn @ 8:37 p.m.