Town of Richwood Minutes

Regular Meeting Minutes

Thursday, May 17,2018
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 May 17, 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 7:02 p.m.
II. Prayer- was offered by Alderperson Simeon Profit
III. Pledge of Allegiance – recited in unison
IV. Roll Call- Mayor Gerald Brown called roll with the following results: (4) Board Members Present (1) Absent

* The record shall reflect (4) Alderpersons present at roll call and (1) Alderperson absent.
*
Present:
Alderperson Simeon Profit Alderperson Donald Richard Alderperson Janice Fleming Alderperson Leola Keys
Absent: Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland

V. Adoption of the Agenda-

* It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to accept the agenda as presented.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken to adopt the agenda as presented with the following results: All (4) Alderpersons present voted YES to Adopt the agenda as presented.
Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes

VI. Adoption of April 19, 2018 Minutes-

* It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to accept the April 19, 2018 Meeting Minutes as presented.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken to adopt the agenda as presented with the following results: All (4) Alderpersons present voted YES to Adopt the April 19, 2018 Meeting Minutes as presented.
Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes
VII. Financial Report-

* It was motioned by Alderperson Simeon Profit and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to accept the Financial Report as presented.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken to adopt the Financial Report as presented with the following results: All (4) Alderpersons present voted YES to Adopt the Financial Report as presented.
Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes

VIII. Mayor’s Dialogue-

Mayor Gerald Brown – thanked the Alderpersons present for their attendance at the dedication ceremony for the Mary Frances Goins Park sign and thanked the Beautification Board along with the Public Works Department for the overseeing of the flower bed in the park, as well as the entrance sign to the Town and in front of the Multi-Purpose Center, that they do add aesthetic value.

Mayor Gerald Brown- reminded the Board the 81st Annual Conference of LMA is coming up on July 31-August 2nd in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and stated if they are wanting to attend that meeting to let Ms. Woods know.

Mayor Gerald Brown – advised as always, the timeframe is a little sensitive, and if we are registered by 28th of June we will be in what they call the early bird special.

Mayor Gerald Brown – advised, if we sign up during that period it will not cost as much for the delegation, and he was asking, as soon as possible. to let Ms. Woods, know if you are attending, so she can take care of registration, and hotel accommodations.

Mayor Gerald Brown- also mentioned the District C Meeting is upon us as well, and it is scheduled for Monday June 25, at the Tallulah Madison Community Center located at 8800 NE Street in Tallulah and will start at 6:00 p.m. with refreshments and dinner to begin at 6:30 p.m. the dress will be casual, and spouses are invited to attend, there is a form here where they want us to RSVP so they can get an accurate count; and if that is an event you are interested in attending just contact the office and let us know. This is an event hosted by Mayor Paxton Branch.

Mayor Gerald Brown- stated he just wanted to mention the heat is up on us and he wanted to remind our citizens and our workers to be smart in what we are doing, lets work in the cool of the day if we can, we do not want to have any hazards or casualties, and let’s check on our elderly when we have the opportunity to do so.
Mayor Gerald Brown- stated that things can happen very quickly in this kind of heat and he encourages us to drink plenty of water, the summer is upon us and with the heat remember to drink plenty of water, and let’s watch out for our children, we know they will be out and amongst us, lets watch and look out for them so we can keep everyone safe.

IX. Public Comments as they Relate to Items on the Agenda:

** No Comments***

X. Southern Youth Movements Update:
(Due to Mr. Epting initially not being present, the Topic was tabled, however upon his arrival the issue went forward)

Mr. Perroyt Epting- addressed the forum and provided updated information as to the completed applications which had been received for the summer program.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- advised the forum that progress is being made on the needed repairs/ renovations to the building.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- advised the forum the outside landscaping had been delayed due to an issue with ground rattlers, however the issue had been resolved and the landscaping should proceed soon.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- advised June 1st is the opening day for the summer program, and on June 1st they will have a Summer Blast which will be a day of fun for the kids in the program, and he would love for the Town Leaders to be there.
XI. Adoption of Resolution 2018-05 (A Resolution for Levying Millage Taxes for the Town of Richwood.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the forum this was discussed last meeting, this is the reaffirming of the millage rate currently in place.

* It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to adopt Resolution 2018-05.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken to adopt Resolution 2018-05 (A Resolution for Levying Millage Taxes for the Town of Richwood) with the following results: All (4) Alderpersons present voted YES to Adopt the Resolution 2018-05 (A Resolution for the Levying Millage Taxes for the Town of Richwood).
Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes

XII. Presentation by JoAnn Hampton from SOS Pets

JoAnn Hampton- addressed the forum and reminded the Board she had addressed the forum a few months ago, concerning the of a new animal shelter.

JoAnn Hampton – advised the forum the condition of the current animal shelter is poor, and the way they clean out the kennel is they wash the animal waste in the middle of it and it doesn’t drain well, and the problem is it wasn’t designed well the shelter is so old.

JoAnn Hampton – advised the Board they are a non- profit group which everyone on the board has volunteered their time.

JoAnn Hampton- advised the plan is to make the new shelter a safe and pleasurable place to visit, and there are plans to perhaps some hiking and biking trails.

JoAnn Hampton- advised the shelter is set to be built in 3 phases and the total cost of those phases is $ 806,250 and they have raised thus far $240,000 in actual cash and pledges, and she is asking for pledges and not actual cash, it’s when they need it, or the entity restricts the funding.

** A discussion ensued at the Board’s table and it was then motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to pledge $1,000 to SOS Pets in the form of a pledge.

Alderperson Simeon Profit- inquired as to the timeframe?
JoAnn Hampton- advised the time can be restricted to a later time when it is needed, but it will take about a year or two to raise the funds needed.

* It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to donate $1000 to SOS Pets.
Mayor Gerald Brown-stated he wanted to make sure everyone understood what was being discussed, and informed the forum the Board had made a motion on the floor to donate a $1000 to SOS Pets in the form of a pledge, and this pledge would not have to be submitted to them until at some point when they expressed they needed those funds, which Mrs. Hampton has expressed they do not project until perhaps the next 2-3 years.

* The record shall reflect a vote was taken to pledge a donation of $ 1000 to SOS Pets with the following results: All (4) Alderpersons present voted YES to pledge to donate $1,000 to SOS Pets.
Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes

XIII. Presentation by Attorney Manning Regarding Government Lawsuits Against Opioid Distributors & Manufactures

Attorney Bobby Manning -inquired if the Board had any questions about the information provided?
and Attorney Dustin Carter – addressed the forum and thanked the Board for allowing them to address the forum today concerning the opioid situation whereas large manufactures and distributers press doctors to over prescribe opioids to patients.
Attorney Dustin Carter- advised the assembly that manufacturers and distributers of opioids are still denying the addictiveness of opioids. Attorney Carter informed the assembly that he felt these entities should be held liable/ accountable for this.
Alderperson Janice Fleming- requested Attorney Carter provide to the forum examples of opioids.
Attorney Dustin Carter-gave for examples Percocet, Oxycodone, and Vicodin
Attorney Dustin Carter- adv to briefly explain the litigation, it is very, very new, and the litigation has been centralized in a federal court in Ohio, however over 300 states, local governments, counties, and parishes across the country have filed suit in that litigation.
Attorney Dustin Carter- stated for example last week the cities of Bastrop and Monroe approved their resolution before you, to approve the services of our firm as a collective effort in the same litigation.
Attorney Dustin Carter- advised if the Town of Richwood decides to join the suit, they will not have to come out of pocket with any money, they only get paid when we get paid.
Attorney Jay Nolen (the Town’s Attorney)- advised he had spoken with Attorney Manning and Attorney Carter, and he felt this was a win-win situation for the Town of Richwood to hire them to represent the Town in this litigation.
XIV. Resolution 2018-06 (A Resolution Authorizing Gerald Brown, Mayor to Employ the Services of Neblett, Beard and Arsenault LLC for Legal Services Relating to Opioid Litigation)

* It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to adopt Resolution 2018-06.

The record shall reflect a vote was taken to adopt Resolution 2018-06 (A Resolution Authorizing Gerald Brown, Mayor to Employ the Services of Neblett, Beard and Arsenault LLC for Legal Services Relating to Opioid Litigation)
With the following results: All (4) Alderpersons present voted Yes to Adopt Resolution 2018-06.

* Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes

XV. Introduction of Ordinance 2018-02 (An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2014-04 and set a yearly salary for the Richwood Police Chief)

Mayor Gerald Brown -advised the Board our current Chief has been on the job for 18+ months, and in that amount of time we have gone from one officer to three, and from 2 cars we were piecing together to four actual working vehicles, and he would invite the Board to attend our court sessions and see there are far more individuals coming to court now because they are working more cases and writing more tickets.
Mayor Gerald Brown – advised the forum for example, 2016 we collected a little over $20,000 in traffic tickets; 2017 we collected $ 46, 000 in traffic tickets and we are projected to increase on that in 2018.
Mayor Gerald Brown- stated he had spoken with the State Troopers as well as Jay Russell, and both are please at what is going on down here as to what the Chief has been implementing and their work relationship is good.
The Chief and his staff are doing more things at night and more things to secure ourselves as opposed to outside entities, whereas we know more of what is going on in our Town and businesses. We know the $30,000 amount he is currently receiving was set by Mr. Walker when he was here several years ago when the police department was dismantled, and he only kept one officer to work a few calls and things of that nature, and that officer had no direct reports, and certainly not working to the point our Chief is now working.
Mayor Gerald Brown- stated he thinks it appropriate at this time to return the Chief to the salary that our previous administration wanted our Chief and leaders of our police department to be at, which is $ 36,000.
* A question as to the comparative of other towns and the Town of Richwood perspective to salary for the Chief was presented.
Mayor Gerald Brown- advised in looking at places close to us, Sterlington makes a little more, Rayville makes about what we are proposing its’ kind of ta standard number when you talk about towns less than 5,000 people….
** Mayor Gerald Brown – reiterated this is just an introduction and the vote will occur at the next meeting.

XVI. Adjournment
It was motioned by Alderperson Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to adjourn meeting at 7:46 p.m.