Melinda Mitchell is in her ninth month of office as mayor of St. Martinville.
She says since her second week on the job, she’s been a target for Councilman Craig Prosper.
“I’ve been bullied, I’ve been yelled at, I was told I would fail and I’ve been totally disrespected by Councilman Craig Prosper,” Mitchell said.
She now believes it’s time to break her silence and she’s only speaking with our Chris Welty.
Mitchell says because of the internal fighting in St. Martinville, nothing is getting accomplished. She is vowing to work with the council and move the city forward, but Councilman Prosper says she’s only saying that because a camera was in front of her.
“The people deserve so much better,” Mitchell said. “That’s not why I’m in office for chaos.”
Mitchell believes she’s a target of political sabotage. She says since taking office, Prosper has continuously worked against her.
“Let me do my job to the best of my ability. You know, I know I can’t do it by myself and I’m seeking help and I want help,” Mitchell said. “I also want us to be able to communicate and respect one another.”
Prosper said, “Everything that the Mayor has been doing is just her way of saying I’m being a bully or attacking her and I’m not. I’m trying to make things work and keep things moving. She’s doing everything to disrupt the city, disrupt the workers and have the city fail.”
Mitchell says she’s not perfect and she’s learning. She believes disputes and distractions from Prosper are slowing the city’s growth.
“I just want to work together and take this city to the level it needs to be.”
Prosper said, “Good leaders find the best people around them to do jobs. They don’t get their best friends to come and do the jobs. If they don’t do the right thing and you don’t remove them, it reflects back on you.”
Prosper says most recently, Mitchell is going against the advice of the city council to cancel the polygraph test ordered for employees who witnessed an argument between the former public works superintendent and an employee.
In an email, Prosper said, “This is the stupidest thing we could ever do. Are we trying to give Mr. Radar additional reasons to file suit against us?”
Prosper said he was not calling the Mayor stupid.
“Those people were reprimanded because of how the situation was handled,” Prosper said. “The termination came later and was separate. There is nothing we’re going to get from those tests.”
Mitchell said she still plans to move forward with the polygraph tests which will cost right under $1,900.