August 08, 2017

Councilwoman Kates Submits Comments On Our Article

Bogalusa Councilwoman Gloria Kates has submitted “clarification and comment” regarding our August 3, 2017 news article titled  “Bogalusa Council: New Fire Truck – Specialty Attorney Approved”. (Click on Read More below for her letter.) As reported, among other actions at the August 1, 2017 meeting, a Public Hearing was held and the Council approved an ordinance to hire Briney Foret Corry, LLP as the City's Civil Service Attorney. Councilwoman Kates and Councilman McCree voting against it.
Kates reviews the “numerous concerns” expressed by the opposition at the meeting. However, each of the objections raised were refuted and explained to the satisfaction of all but Kates and McCree. City Attorney Dale Branch advised the hiring was consistent with the City's charter and recommended the hiring.
See the video beginning at 10:40 into the meeting at

Please post as clarification and comment on article  of  August 3, 2017 entitled Bogalusa Council: New Fire Truck – Specialty Attorney Approved 
Before the roll call vote and weeks prior, numerous concerns were discussed at the council meeting which there were determining factors of  the decision , such  as:

A review of (1) Section 4-02.  City attorney. Part B. The city attorney shall serve as chief legal advisor to the mayor, council and all departments, offices and agencies, shall represent the city in all legal proceedings except for criminal matters prosecuted by the city and shall perform any other duties prescribed by this charter or by ordinance. Also, part D. No special legal counsel shall be employed by the city except by written contract and approval of the council.  

(2) A Review of a letter dated May 19, 2017 written and sign by Attorney Brinney which stated: “Please be advised that I have been retained by the appointing authority to represent their interest in the civil service appeal by (name blacked out) recently filed. I would appreciate you directing all future request and inquiries through me. “

(3) A Review of Bogalusa City  fund account 01-General Ledger  for Legal and Professional expenditures in which it was  listed under invoice Civil Service 10765; vendor number 20973  under the description Civil Service Attorney for payment of 200.50.

(4) Presentation of fees for the Civil Service Attorney given which were Attorney fees 200.00/hr., Partner fees 150.00/hr., Paralegal fees 95.00/hr. and mileage from Layfette to Bogalusa .40 to 1.25/mi.

Finally to add and foremost to consider that the Bogalusa Home Rule Charter can not be added to or taken from as described in Section 7-04.  Amending or repealing the charter. Briefly overviewed in partsA. In Proposals to amend or repeal this charter may be made both by the council and by petition signed by not less than twenty-five (25) percent of the qualified voters of the city. (Further discussed in Article 7.04) B. Proposals to amend or repeal this charter shall be submitted for ratification to the qualified voters of the city, preferably in an election already scheduled for other purposes, otherwise in a special election called by the council. (Further discussed in Article 7.04)  C. Proposals by the council and by petition may be submitted to the voters at the same election and voters may, at their option, accept or reject any or all such proposals. (Further discussed in section 7.04) D. Proposals to amend or repeal this charter shall not be submitted more often than every two (2) years. (Further discussed in article 7.04)

The Bogalusa  Home Rule Charter was proposed May 02, 1977, adopted October 22, 1977, and effective December 04, 1978.   Section 7.04 of the Bogalusa Charter is  authorized legislation of LA State Constitution of 1974 - Article VI. Local Government – Part 1 General Provision- §5. Home Rule Charter voted in by and for the people of Bogalusa, The Magic City.
Respectively, Councilwoman Gloria Kates
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