Port Allen mayor defends vision for the city
POSTED: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 8:56pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:44am
PORT ALLEN,LA (NBC33) — People living in Port Allen are split over the direction the city has taken since new Mayor Deedy Slaughter took office. She's created a new position in city hall and let go of the city's chief financial officer. Some residents are concerned the mayor's recent actions could create problems for the city's future.
"She's approaching her position in a very high handed matter and it's not a collaborate effort," Arthur Cagle explained. "It's her dictating what the city should be doing."
"I ran on the basis of integrity fairness," Mayor Deedy Slaughter said. "I just want a good life for the citizens of Port Allen as a whole, and that's the thing that I'm going to stand on."
Slaughter told city council members in a letter Monday the city's chief financial officer Audrey McCain was let go. She did not list an official reason for the move.
"Even if she did or does have the authority to act," Cagle said. "We feel she should have consulted with the personnel committee before making a move such as that."
"Maybe she found out something the lady wasn't doing right, and maybe that's why she let her go," Barbara Carter supports Slaughter. "I'm quite sure she looked into it before she let her go because she's a fair person. I think she's a very intelligent person. She's sweet. She takes time to listen to what you have to say."
Slaughter wouldn't comment on the firing directly, but told NBC33 there have been issues with the city's finances found in a recent legislative auditor's review. Issues that need to be fixed now.
"This is a position that is critical," Slaughter stated. "If we don't get the audit findings, get our hand around the audit findings, then it's all going to fall back on the mayor and not only the mayor but the citizens of Port Allen."
Some residents say it's a move that could end up hurting the city.
"Doesn't bode well for the financial integrity of the city and for the collaborate efforts again with the council," Cagle was frustrated with Slaughter's move.
There is another issue causing debate in Port Allen.
Slaughter wants to create a new position in her office. She wants to hire a chief of staff.
"This person will come in and help me to resolve some of the internal issues that i'm seeing," Slaughter explained.
Cagle said the position is a waste of tax payers dollars.
"Most people feel it's rather ludicrous, because it's never been needed before. We're a town of maybe 7 thousand some odd people. Why do you need a liaison to go down the hall to talk to a department head," Cagle exclaimed.
Slaughter admits her relationship with the council is getting off to a rough start, but she's still hopeful they'll embrace her ideas for a new Port Allen.
Slaughter stated, "When you have a new vision and want changes, you know, may have agreements. But, at the end of the day it's all about the citizens of Port Allen. It's all about moving Port Allen forward."
She wants to focus her attentions on fixing the city's audit issues and economic development in the downtown area.
"We could make this a tourist spot, where people can come do some exciting things on the weekend, as well as, our citizens of Port Allen," Slaughter said.
Slaughter said she will reveal her choice for the new chief of staff position Wednesday night at the Port Allen city council meeting. The meeting is set for 5:30.