Tuesday (May 25, 2021) evening's meeting of the Franklinton Mayor and Board of Aldermen started off with accusations of racism and insubordination by Frankie Crosby against Police Chief Justin Brown (beginning at 3:30 into video of the meeting). Crosby stated that a Facebook page by the Chief suggested Brown to be a “disingenuous and uncaring Chief of Police”. Chief Brown refuted the charges and stated that he answers to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and said to Crosby "I do not answer to you".
Crosby stated he was elected and Brown was appointed. However, Crosby was elected to the Washington Parish School Board and does not exercise any authority or have supervision over the Franklinton Police Chief. In addition, Crosby was placed on the Agenda as “Mr. Frankie Crosby of FOCUS Franklinton to address the Mayor and Board”. However, Crosby later admitted that he was not speaking as a representative of FOCUS Franklinton.
After the “rocky” start, the meeting was productive. The Mayor and Board addressed non-controversial personnel matters, awarded bids on surplus equipment, introduced an ordinance to levy sales taxes approved by the voters (Public Hearing and vote to be held in two weeks), and heard departmental reports from Municipal Clerk Ellen Waskom (beginning at 23:40 into video of the meeting) and Franklinton Police Chief Justin Brown (beginning at 28:30 into video of the meeting).
Members of the Board provided comments (beginning at 46:25 into video of the meeting): Mr. Butler spoke about the water line break at the hospital; Mr. Descant spoke about Animal Control challenges and responses by Amwaste to waste collection issues; Mr. Sharp emphasized the detail and value of the financial information provided by the Municipal Clerk; Mr. Spears praised the employees of the town.
Mayor Route addressed numerous concerns and pending actions. They included
- a recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone acreage adjacent to Hillcrest Baptist Church
- the need to address water line issues, as emphasized by the water line break at the hospital. Such breaks necessitates a Boil Water Advisory. The Town is pursuing a grant to fund improvements
- paperwork has been completed to revamp the Town's bond indebtedness. This will be create a savings of approximately $19,000 per month
- the Town's new Facebook page and website will be completed soon
- Board Member assignments have been changed: Animal Control (Descant and Sharp), Police Department (Sharp and Spears), Fire Department (Descant and Sharp), Public Works (Butler and Spears), Sanitation (Crain and Descant), Code Enforcement (Route and Butler), Airport (Butler and Spears), Economic Development and Recreation (Descant and Crain), Beautification (Citizens Planning Committee), and Human Resources (Crain and Spears)
- the need to review and update certain fees (particularly “tap” fees) in the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 20
- a discussion on the upcoming LMA conference