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Residents Council election draws ire of local citizen

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 16, 1998

LAPLACE – The St. John Parish Housing Authority board heard complaintsabout the recent election of the Residents Council from a concerned citizen Wednesday night.

Michael Carter of LaPlace addressed the board regarding the election Sept.

3 between Paula Clofer and Sheryl A. Williams, to represent LaPlace onthe Residents Council.

Carter said Clofer is a current member of the Housing Authority board, which should disqualify her. He added Williams, who was running for re-election, had been evicted from the LaPlace development, which should disqualify her.

The election, Carter continued, was supposed to have been held in March but was not conducted until Sept. 3, with candidates qualified by Aug. 17.Also elected were Ron James, representing Garyville, Kalantha Jackson, representing Edgard, and Cheryl Melancon, representing Reserve.

The new Residents Council will be sworn in Tuesday.

Clofer, according to Carter, was disqualified by U.S. Department ofHousing and Urban Development guidelines which stress no employee or contractor of the Housing Authority with any policy-making authority could serve on the Resident Council.

However, board member Tim Patrick countered, Clofer is neither an employee nor a contractor and serves as an appointee.

“We were told by HUD yesterday this was no violation,” chairman Sheila Morris stated.

As to Williams, Carter said she had been evicted on Aug. 11, yet qualifiedfor the election on Aug. 15.Morris responded that Williams has appealed her eviction and while her appeal is pending, she is still a resident and qualified to run for the Residents Council.

During discussion on the matter, Carter was asked by Patrick if he were an attorney representing anyone in this matter. Carter responded only bysaying, “Do I sound like an attorney?” Following the meeting, Carter said he was not an attorney but added the election matter will likely end up in court regardless.

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