Parish employees’ pay raises split between CPI, merit

Up to 5 percent on the table for jury employees

Calling straight across-the-board pay raises “a slap in the face to good employees,” the Acadia Parish Police Jury Tuesday night voted to split the raises this year between cost of living increases and merit raises.

The jury had budgeted funds for a 5 percent increase for all employees, which would have cost the parish about $115,000  had it passed.

Instead, all parish employees — and the secretaries and staff of the district attorney’s office — are guaranteed a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase based on the national Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Supervisors will then review the work ethics of employees in their charges and recommend merit raises up to 5 percent.

The DA’s staff will receive the 1.5 percent increase only.

“Across-the-board raises only teach good employees not to work,” said A. “Jay” Credeur. “Why should they bust their butt when everyone’s going to get the same thing?”

Julie Borill agreed, saying, “Our good employees should get more.”

However, she was hesitant, citing a previous such endeavor where parish supervisors “gave blanket good reviews to employees so that everyone would get raises.”

This time the supervisors’ recommendations will be reviewed by Human Resources Director Donna Bertrand and Secretary-Treasurer Richard “Dickie” Latiolais.

Raises are retroactive to Jan. 1.

The jury also voted to lease a new bulldozer for the parish landfill at a cost of $6,540 a month through a governmental rental lease program.

Credeur alone opposed.

“Y’all are quick to waste taxpayer money,” he said, explaining that the jury last year put nearly $200,000 work into the two dozers currently at the landfill.

“If these were your’s and you’d just spent $200,000 to fix them, would you replace them?” he asked. “That’s money going right out the window.”

But Borill countered that the money is tax funding dedicated to the landfill.

“If we don’t start purchasing some new equipment out there and taking care of it we’re going to be in a bind,” she said.

Landfill operations are funded through a parishwide sales tax. Surplus funds — what’s left over after all the landfill costs are paid — can, thanks to a voter referendum, be used for road and bridge maintenance.

Credeur also was alone in opposition to extend the contract of Ron Lawson as Third Party Provider (building code inspector).

Lawson had approached the jury’s Legislative Committee last week asking for a one-year extension, as allowed in the contract.

But Credeur said he would rather see the position bid out “in an effort to save taxpayer money.”

Credeur added that he had a problem with the way Lawson had handled a specific situation in his district.

The committee could not reach a decision and the matter was forwarded to the full jury with no recommendation.

Sandra Broussard, a resident of Heritage Road and the subject of the “situation” in Credeur’s district, asked that the jury not extend Lawson’s contract.

However, jurors voted to extend the contract for a year.

In other action, the jury:

• Authorized the advertisement of requests for quotes for engineer selection for FEMA-funded road and bridge projects.

• Approved plans and specifications and set a bid date for the new Morse Village Hall, to be paid from Gustav/Ike Disaster Recovery Program funding.

• Approved final adjustments to the 2013 budget to bring actual spending in line with projections.

• Declared March 17 - 21 as “CHOICES Week” in Acadia Parish in observance of the program spearheaded by the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office aimed at showing young drivers the perils of impaired or distracted driving.

• Appointed Keith Leger to the Second Ward Drainage District Number 1 to fill the board position of John Clyde Leger.

• Reappointed Amy Simon and Melvin Clay to the Fire Protection District No. 3 board of directors.

• Reappointed Wayne Manuel, Laurent Bellard and Allen Murphy to the Bayou Mallet Gravity Drainage District board.

• Appointed Fran Bihm, executive director of the Rayne Chamber of Commerce, to the Acadia Parish Convention and Visitors Commission to fill the unexpired term of Miles Boudreaux.

Acadia Parish Today

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