Council shoots down raise for parish president

July 11, 2014 at 9:15 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Council shoots down raise for parish president
Proposed changes to the St. Charles Parish Home Rule Charter that would have increased salaries for the parish president and members of the council were overwhelmingly shot down in a vote by the St. Charles Parish Council on Monday.

One of councilman Paul Hogan’s charter amendments would have increased the parish president’s salary from around $99,000 to $125,000. Another would have increased the salaries of council members from $10,545 to $15,000. The council’s two at-large members, who are paid $14,055, would have seen a salary adjustment to $18,500.

Had the two amendments passed a council vote, the raises would have taken effect in 2016, after the next parish election. However, Hogan was the only council member to vote for either amendment.

Councilwoman Julia Fisher-Perrier said instead of raising salaries, the Parish Council should focus on putting as much funds as possible into the West Bank levee.

Councilman Terrell Wilson agreed.

“While we are building levees I can’t support this. We need money for levees,” he said.

Parish attorney Leon “Sunny” Vial said there are already provisions in the parish charter to increase the parish president’s salary, so further changes would be unnecessary. “Annual compensation for the parish president may be adjusted by ordinance so there is no need to amend the charter at all,” he said.

In addition, Vial warned against making any changes to the charter without ensuring those changes are actually necessary.

“From a lawyer’s perspective, it really isn’t a good idea to amend the charter just like it isn’t a good idea to amend the state and federal constitution because it gets out of hand,” he said.

Two other proposed charter amendments would have allowed the Parish Council to make changes to the budget after it has passed as well as disallow interim council members from running for the seat they are temporarily holding.

Those also failed to garner enough support at Monday’s meeting.

View other articles written Kyle Barnett

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