Parish Council overturns Robottom veto

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, February 11, 2015

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — Parish President Natalie Robottom’s veto of a resolution — which enforces a hiring freeze on parish employees — lasted only one day as the St. John the Baptist Parish Council unanimously voted to overturn the veto Tuesday night.

On Monday, Robottom vetoed the resolution, which was passed Jan. 30 at a special Council meeting in light of an announcement Robottom made naming a special assistant to the Utilities Department.

“In reality, the practical effect of this action by the Council is simply to limit broadly the executive authority of the Parish President to administer, direct and supervise Parish departments,” Robottom wrote in her veto of the resolution.

Since the beginning of the year, Robottom has named several special assistants, which do not require Council approval.

The Council passed the resolution to enforce an immediate hiring freeze on new parish employees, “specifically to restrict the hiring of employees to newly created employment positions without Council authorization,” the resolution states.

Blake Fogleman was named as Special Assistant to the Parish President, assigned as Director of Utilities to replace Virgil Rayneri, and Laverne Saulny was assigned as Special Assistant to the Parish President assigned to the Department of Economic Development.

According to the parish’s Home Rule Charter, the resolution is not retroactive, which means the appointment of Fogleman and Saulny will stand.

The resolution will not go into effect until five days after it’s published in L’OBSERVATEUR, the parish’s legal journal.