Council delays budget OK another week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 25, 2013

By David Vitrano

LAPLACE – Despite gathering for a special meeting Monday, the St. John the Baptist Parish Council once again tabled the 2014 budget amid concerns about raises for the parish’s non-classified employees.
The 5 percent raises have been the main sticking point with the Council since the budget was introduced in October.
At first it seemed as though the budget might pass without incident Monday. Councilman Larry Snyder asked Parish President Natalie Robottom and other members of her staff several question for clarification purposes, but the answers all seemed satisfactory to Snyder and his colleagues. But as his comments turned toward an ordinance the Council passed freezing non-classified salaries, it quickly became clear that no action would be taken regarding the fiscal plan.
Regarding the ordinance, Snyder asked attorney Jeff Perilloux, “Is that all we need to do or do we need to do more?”
Perilloux said the council had likely not taken the right path to accomplish what it intended and that a motion to specifically amend the budget might better suit the job.
After a lengthy recess during which Perilloux and Snyder spoke behind closed doors, the councilman requested the administration provide the Council with a document outlining salaries by department.
He also asked that the budget be tabled again and that the Council call another special meeting Monday, Dec. 30, at noon, both of which were granted.
The Council must approve a budget by Dec. 31.
Before the budget discussion, the Council heard from Reanda Fields Pierre with “Love Going Home.”
That organization plans to hold a housing fair at the St. John Parish Civic Center for first-time homeowners on Jan. 25.