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Story Archives: Jury begins new year, members refuse salary increase
|Jury begins new year, members refuse salary increase|
Kevin Cobb, chief deputy for the sheriff's department called the first meeting of 2008 for the Franklin Parish Police Jury to order last Thursday night, prior to the re-election of Harvey Ray Guimbellot as president.
Before the regular meeting started, jurors Guimbellot, Ricky Campbell, Jackie Johnson, Leroy Scott, Buddy Parks and Troy Hendry were sworn in by clerk of court Ann Thompson. Guimbellot and Campbell were re-elected to four-year terms in last fall's elections. The other members, including juror Ray Young who was absent due to a death in his family, are still serving their current terms.
Of the members, juror Scott was elected chaplain for 2008 and Johnson was named jury vice president.
In its first public hearing of the year, the jurors decided now is not the time to give themselves a raise, voting down any increase in their salaries.
"I'm for leaving them as they are since we were only able to give our employees only a 2 percent raise," said Hendry, and his colleagues unanimously agreed.
The jurors could have raised their monthly salaries to $1,200, the maximum amount allowed by law. The current salary is $750 per month, with the president receiving $900 a month.
The jury also reappointed secretary Johnnie Wesley, treasurer Shannon Gwin and superintendent Greg Humphries, giving each a two-year contract. They also approved the hiring of an additional janitor, who is on a work-release program with the sheriff's office. The full-time janitor will also do maintenance at the health unit and the D.A.R.E. office.
The jury welcomed the new 4-H agent, Laura Bradley to the staff of the extension office.
Upon the recommendation of Scott, it was agreed to look into new weatherization for the upstairs window in the courthouse.
They jury also agreed to research "saggy pants" ordinances to determine how a law for the parish should be worded.
While the jury is not trying to be fashion police, Scott expressed frustration at the below-the-belt fashion trend saying, "It is getting ridiculous," and "It sort of degrades the human race."
The issue will be brought back to the jury at the March meeting. Members will then review staff findings on the ordinances enacted by other police juries and cities.
The jury approved $2,000 in travel expenses for Johnson to attend the National Association of County Officials legislative conference in March in Washington, D.C. Johns, along with representatives of the Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance and the city of Winnsboro will have the opportunity to bring the needs of Franklin Parish to elected officials at the capitol.
On the topic of education, Johnson expressed concern about youth not being at school during the day, suggesting the jury consider writing an ordinance to hold parents responsible for their truant children.
Johnson said from the number of kids he sees on the streets, the current laws on truancy are "not being enforced to any degree."
Johnson agreed to contact the Franklin Parish School Board to find out what it is doing about the problem, and what assistance, if any, the police jury can provide.
In new business, juror Ricky Campbell asked if a private boat ramp at Sam Lake could be revamped with jury equipment so it can be used as a public launch. While the jury is willing to do the work, they decided to wait until there is something in writing from the landowner granting public use of the ramp.
Also, Johnson asked the jury to look into available land and buildings either in the industrial park or on property owned by the jury that could be used to house new businesses. Johnson said a company considering a move to Winnsboro that could bring 200 jobs, but the is no facility available. That, in addition to a lack of skilled workers, is keeping the business from coming to Winnsboro, according to Johnson.
The jury OK'd asking the parish engineer to report on where businesses could locate in the parish.
In other action:
• The jury approved sending several employees to training seminars.
• Agreed to advertise the position for a lowboy operator.
• Agreed to advertise for new equipment and approved the even trade of a trailer.
• Discussed road work in Baskin.
• Heard from a parish resident about flooding problems.
• Agreed to repair the Wisner fire truck, with the town of Wisner paying for the parts.
• Heard various committee reports.
Franklin Parish Police Jury 2008 committees
Finance – Buddy Parks, Jackie Johnson, Ray Young
North Delta Board – Jackie Johnson, Leroy Scott
Personnel Committee – Troy Hendry, Jackie Johnson, Ricky Campbell
Hospital liaison – Jackie Johnson, Ricky Campbell, Harvey Ray Guimbellot
Recreation committee – Ricky Campbell, Leroy Scott, Jackie Johnson
Purchasing committee – Harvey Ray Guimbellot, Troy Hendry, Buddy Parks
Insurance committee – Harvey Ray Guimbellot, Troy Hendry
Courthouse committee – Buddy Parks, Ray Young
Public works committee – Harvey Ray Guimbellot, Buddy Parks, Troy Hendry
Economic development – Leroy Scott, Harvey Ray Guimbellot, Jackie Johnson
Garbage committee – Harvey Ray Guimbellot, Ricky Campbell, Buddy Parks
Fire district committee – Ricky Campbell, Buddy Parks, Troy Hendry
Appropriations committee – Jackie Johnson, Troy Hendry, Buddy Parks
Appeals committee – Bill Mulkey, Harvey Ray Guimbellot, Troy Hendry