Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:29 PM by Steven Albritton
It's been two years since Opelousas city employees have had a raise and after Tuesday's meeting they'll have to wait a little bit longer. A vote was set to happen at during the council meeting but that meeting never happened. Three council members were no shows, so the meeting didn't meet the required attendance.
We're told the original meeting date was changed. Mayor pro temp and Alderman Blaire Briggs says, he is on a previously planned family vacation and couldn't make it. Alderman Reginald Tatum was out sick and there is no word on why Alderman Joe Charles wasn't in attendance.
Speaking with officials who were at the meeting, in their words, Tuesday night was embarrassing for not only the council, but the entire city of Opelousas. Those who came to the meeting were only there for 34 minutes and some were not happy with what transpired.
"Let's be be clear. Your time's getting wasted. Three gentlemen decided to pull a coup tonight at your expense," Opelousas resident Patrick Fontenot said.
Alderman Julius Alsandor was in attendance and feels Tuesday's events reflect poorly on everyone.
"It's an embarrassment as a sitting council member, but for the people who were in attendance and all those in the city of Opelousas, our job is to govern and move this city forward. When a travesty such as this occurs, progress does not take place and won't take place," Alderman Alsandor said.
Up for a vote at the meeting, a 2.5% raise for city employees which will have to wait. Also plans for a brand new hotel to be built in Opelousas will be on hold. The man who plans to build that hotel was in attendance and was ready to present his case for the hotel to the council.
"All I can do with him is to apologize and hope we can get his business done within the next 30 to 45 days, so we don't lose the project to one of the area municipalities down the highway," Opelousas Mayor Donald Cravins, Sr. said.
Some say the divide on the board is clear and if things don't change it will end up hurting the city.
"The community is tired of these petty games and three people holding up the progress of this community," Fontenot said.
The items on the agenda, including the cost of living raise for city employees, will all be pushed back to the next meeting scheduled for July 29th.