Council plans to put committees to good use

January 16, 2008 at 9:23 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Council plans to put committees to good use
St. Charles Parish's newly elected officials held their first council meeting on Jan. 14 and agreed to redo bids on the west bank pump station and asked the newly formed Legislative Committee to decide how to impose a 20 percent fee on video bingo proceeds.

Councilman Terry Authement, who was elected as vice chairman, says that the council did an admirable job during their first meeting and knows that things will run smoother after the council gets used to the meeting process.

"I know we still have some procedural things to work out and get under our belts," he said. "As a council we did well for our first meeting."

Authement says that after a couple more meetings, he's certain all of the members will become more familiar with the way things are structured.

"It's a lot different from what's seen on television, than when you're  actually sitting up there," he said.
While they may still have to get used to some of the council procedures, the new members quickly broke with recent tradition by forming several committees and planning to use them.

Marcus Lambert will head the Legislative Committee, while Larry Cochran will be in charge of the Contract/Finance and Administrative Committee. Dennis Nuss, who was also elected as council chairman, will head up public health, safety and environmental.

Lastly, Authement will handle the Operations, Maintenance and Construction Management Committee.

Though it was their first meeting, the members of the council were able to get several important measures accomplished. The No. 1 priority of the council was getting an opportunity to take another look at the Magnolia Ridge pump Station.

"The lawsuit I filed against the parish was pulled earlier this week and I'm glad that we now get to revisit the bids for the pump station for the west bank," he said. "I'm planning a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, the engineering firm involved with the project and anyone else that can help us understand and answer the questions the council needs as we move forward with this project."

Authement says the idea of over-charging the residents is what concerned him the most, and by scheduling a committee meeting within the next two weeks, he hopes to ease some concerns.

Councilman Larry Cochran and Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto thought that revisiting the bids might delay the pump project even further.

"I just want some questions answered and I want to make sure that project is not going to delay progress," Cochran said.
Benedetto agreed.

 "I want to be able to look my constituents in the face six months from now and let them know we're moving ahead with this project," Benedetto said.

A proposal to tax video bingo parlors was removed by the council, though a Legislative Committee will look into the matter.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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