Covering Louisiana

Jan 9, 2014 11:56 AM by AP

Oberlin Mayor Rick Smith resigns

OBERLIN, La. (AP) - Oberlin mayor Rick Smith has resigned from office, citing town officials' lack of communication and unwillingness to work together.

The American Press reports Smith, who has served as mayor three years, announced his resignation Wednesday, a day after meeting with state legislative auditors concerning the town's financial crisis and pending audit. Findings of the audit are expected to be made public Monday.

Smith said problems with the town's finances are nothing new, but council members have refused to work with him on ways to improve its financial status, including repairing 75 non-functioning water and gas meters that have in turn caused the town to lose revenue. Efforts to address excessive overtime pay in the police department and rising insurance cost have also divided the council.

"They (council) are not willing to listen to reason or try to take anything serious about the budget," Smith said. "They are just fighting and resisting everything I offer. I don't want to be a part of it."

Smith said the council has refused to work together to try to balance the budget and take care of finances.

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