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Opelousas budget fails to pass at council meeting

Posted: 10:32 PM, Aug 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-16 12:30:33-04

The Opelousas operating budget failed to pass Tuesday evening at the city’s council meeting

Council members Julius Alsandor, Tyronne Glover, and Blair Briggs voted no to the proposed budget.

“I voted no tonight because the auditor told us that all the numbers are not in. I would rather all the numbers be in and make a conscious decision moving the city forward making sure the numbers are where they need to be,” Alderman Tyrone Glover said.

The city’s Chief Financial Officer, Steven Woods, said there is nothing wrong with the budget as reflected in a legislative auditors opinion, however, he is more comfortable moving forward in September when the numbers are available.

“To be honest with you, I could make your budget look really good, but come August you may be visiting me down through Angola somewhere. So in order for me not to do that, I rather do that the right way … and if we have to … that’s what we have to do,” Woods said.

Mayor Reggie Tatum and the CFO said the city is going into the new budget year with a two million dollar surplus. Alderman Blair Briggs pointed out a discrepancy in the budget.

“It’s not a two million dollar surplus according to this budget, it’s a two million dollar fund balance. The surplus for this projected year is about $125,000. That’s the projection. It’s $125,000,” Brigs said.

Briggs said for a city the size of Opelousas, $125,000 may not be actually what’s left after all expenses for the year are paid.

Other council members like councilwoman Jacqueline Martin felt the budget should have been passed Tuesday night.

“I voted yes to adopt the budget because I was pleased with the interview Mr. Woods gave me. He went down the budget line by line and I was satisfied with what I was told,” Martin said.

The 2018-2019 budget was introduced earlier this month by Alderman Jacqueline Martin. The next budget meeting will be held September 21, 2018. A meeting to vote on the budget will be on September 28, 2018.