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Raises Oked for St. Charles’ next council

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / November 4, 1998

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish civil service employees have enjoyedcost-of-living raises since the early 1980s. Monday, the St. Charles ParishCouncil approved a pay raise for the next panel to take office in January 2000.

This means none of the current members, unless they are elected to the next council, will receive the raise.

The council salary was fixed by the Home Rule Charter at $7,200 per year for district members and $9,600 per year for at-large members. The 10percent increase approved Monday raises it to $7,920 for district members and $10,560 for at-large members.

Administrative Officer Tim Vial observed that if the Parish Council had received the same cost-of-living raises as parish employees, members’ salaries would be 83 percent higher than they are now.

That would have made those salaries $13,143 for district members and $16,794 for at-large members, Vial added.

“It won’t affect me, so I fully support it,” Parish Councilman Dickie Duhe commented.

Parish Councilman Curtis Johnson Sr. added the job is “supposed to bepart-time” but often becomes a full-time occupation. “I’m not asking youto feel sorry for us, because we asked for it.”Parish Councilman Barry Minnich observed, “I don’t think it’s too much to ask.”Jim Fazzino of Destrehan voiced his support, and noted, “Every one of you has put in the effort beyond what was asked by your constituents.”The raise was approved 7-2, with Parish Councilmen Terry Authement and “Ram” Ramchandran voting against it. Both are expected to run for seatson that next council. Sponsors of the ordinance were Ron Phillips andBarry Minnich.

The council salaries will draw it closer in line with comparable parishes, such as Washington Parish, which pays $9,600 and $10,800, and has a population almost identical to St. Charles Parish.In other activity, the Parish Council heard a brief Housing Authority report from Leala Jackson, which detailed the number of units and the funding for the program.

Also, the Parish Council approved an informational guideline booklet for the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Phillips questioned why the resolution approving the handbook was necessary for council consideration, as it was already in informal use by the panels.

Planning Director Earl Matherne responded it would become part of the orientation for new members. In a related action, it was announced ParishPresident Chris Tregre had re-appointed Allen Braud of Luling to a new five-year term to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

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