The City of St. Martinville has a new Chief Administrative Officer, Chedrick Berard. Berard is a 30 year veteran of the city and he has worked in numerous positions. Two councilmen, Craig Prosper, and Mike Fuselier say he is unqualified for the job.
Mayor Melinda Mitchell recommended Berard for the job, but other councilmen don’t agree that he is qualified for such an important position.
“people get the MBA’s and their CPA’s to do that. Mr. Berard has nothing even close to that. I talked to our accountant and I asked them and they just don’t feel that they would recommend him for that job. I couldn’t vote for that,” Fuselier said.
Councilman Prosper expressed the same concern.
“You don’t have to embezzle any money to go to jail in that position. That position is so strict it could put you in jail for losing receipts and putting money in the wrong accounts,” Prosper explained.
The newly hired CAO says he’s been working with his predecessor and he’s even been to training with other city clerks. He says he will work double and even triple to make sure the job is done correctly.
“I familiarized myself with that position for a long time while I’ve been here. I am going to go ahead and kind of fill in the other part as far as the bookkeeping. They keep mentioning accounting, but it is really a bookkeeping position. So that’s what I plan to do so I can be successful in that position,” Berard said.
Other council members expressed their support, vowing to support the new appointee 100%.
Mayor Melinda Mitchell says she believes in giving everybody a chance to start somewhere.
“He’s been training with our past clerk and I think just giving him an opportunity would be fair,” Mitchell said.
The two council members who disagree with the new position say they will still support him in whatever he needs.