Town divided: Port Allen residents react to ongoing feud between mayor, council

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POSTED: Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 4:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 6:38pm

A city council meeting in Port Allen called into question some big allegations regarding the relationship between the newly elected mayor and council members. Reactions from the community are equally divided with many believing the Mayor needs to resign, while others say the council needs to back down.

On Wednesday, March 13, Mayor Deedy Slaughter released a letter detailing her difficulty with council members. She claims, among other things, that she has been racially discriminated against. This comes after the city council voted to ask for an investigation from the Sheriff and District Attorney against the Mayor's action since taking office.

Port Allen City Councilman Hugh Riviere says the allegations are false and says he'd never do anything to hurt the city.

"I welcome an investigation into any of my activities as a councilman and my eight plus years on the council,” he said. “I've been above board with everything I have ever done as a councilman. Never have I ever tried to hide anything. Never have I ever had any ulterior motives."

Meanwhile, residents of Port Allen are weighing in on the Mayor's letter and are split on their reaction.

"It's because the Mayor has made it a racial issue in an effort to further her hidden agenda," Arthur Cagle said.

“I believe she is a good fighter for the people,” Larry Salomon added. "To me it looks like they are pulling against what she wants to do. She looks like she is trying to straighten out the city for the better."
Cagle believes Mayor Slaughter wants the federal government to step in to look at race relations to get attention off of her own wrong doing.

“Well if there is nothing to be concerned about as far as your behavior, I don't think an investigation would be a means of concern,” he said.

Salomon, on the other hand, believes the council needs to back off and let the Mayor do her job.

“She takes time to talk with you instead of just we are going to do this here and leave it like that,” he said. “She would come to an understanding with you. She'll be fair.”

Cagle says all the fighting has become a distraction and he's worried nothing is getting done at City Hall. He wants Mayor Slaughter to step down.

"I don't think there is any question more time is spent spinning her wheels than doing anything productive."

All parties, however, are tired of the fighting and hope a resolution will come soon.

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