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March 11, 2021

Franklinton Mayor & Aldermen Remain Divided

A majority of the Franklinton Board of Aldermen were once again in opposition to Mayor Greg Route, primarily over the Police Chief issue that was first raised at the fractious first meeting of the new Franklinton Mayor and Board of Aldermen on January 12, 2021.  Click here for more background

At the Tuesday (March 9, 2021) meeting, the Board of Aldermen voted to not approve eight agenda items to ratify certain actions/past actions. Each vote was the same: Darwin Sharp, Seth Descant and Heath Spears voted “No”; Patrice Crain and T. J. Butler voted “Yes”. Those eight agenda items were

  • Ratify Past Actions of Chief of Police Justin Brown (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting Justin Brown (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Past Actions of Attorney James Knight (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting James Knight (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Past Actions of Code Enforcement Officer Will Magee (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting Will Magee (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Past Actions of Chief of Police Olander Smith (Tabled 2/23/2021)
  • Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting Olander Smith (Tabled 2/23/2021)

Later, the agenda items to advertise for the positions of Chief of Police and Code Enforcement Officer failed to receive Aldermen approval. Once again, the vote was Darwin Sharp, Seth Descant and Heath Spears voting “No”; Patrice Crain and T. J. Butler voting “Yes”. Mayor Route asked those voting “No” to explain their position. Mayor Route expressed his frustration and predicted a court battle, the Mayor versus the Board of Aldermen. Go to the video at 29:20 to see more.

In other business, 

  • the Board of Aldermen approved the introduction of Ordinance #1077: Amendment of Criminal Code/Adoption of State Code 
  • Departmental Reports were given by Public Works Supervisor Reginald McMasters and Municipal Clerk Ellen Waskom
  • the Board of Aldermen approved the hiring of Zaquarius Martin for Public Works Department (Water)
  • after considerable discussion, the Board of Aldermen deferred action related to the replacement of the Town's computer server and maintenance of the Town's computer network
  • the Board of Aldermen approved the Mayor to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement with Washington Parish Government
  • During Public Participation, the need to improve waste collection and the importance of voter approval of the tax renewal on the March 20th ballot were discussed.

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