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St. Martinville council addresses utilities, travel fund and Mayor's request for monitors

Posted at 10:49 PM, Oct 21, 2019

Some St. Martinville City Council Members are accusing Mayor Melinda Mitchell of breaking state law. Meanwhile, she believes the council is disrespecting her.

On Monday night, the council addressed the Mayor's utility bill as well as the city's travel fund.

Following the meeting, the Mayor said she's not talking about utilities or the travel budget.

Some St. Martinville residents said they want changes with the utility department after their utilities were disconnected.

"I mean come on. When you have a zero electric bill and you have a $26 late fee, you're going to disconnect? I mean y'all were lucky I was home," resident Blake Doucet said.

The council agrees some policies do need to be tweaked when it comes to disconnecting utilities and how late fees are billed.

"They need to be for citizen Tom, Dick and Harry as well as Councilman Fuselier and Mayor Mitchell," said Councilman Mike Fuselier.

Both Councilman Fuselier and Councilman Prosper say Mayor Mitchell is still late on her utility bill and is violating state law. They say the city's auditor is closely watching.

"City officials have to be paid up by the said date," Fuselier said.

Prosper said, "We're going to have enough write-ups from the legislative auditor without that being another issue. It's a big issue when we're cutting others off and our own elected official is going to the 5th, the 6th of the month. That's terrible."

The council also shutdown the Mayor's plans to attend a conference in San Antonio.

"This is what it's cost us. $93,5000 because of the mismanagement of the last six months," Fuselier said as he held a poster. "We gonna take a trip to San Antonio? I don't think so. How about a trip to New Iberia."

Mayor Mitchell said, "I'm disappointed by the disrespect of the council saying that I'm going and not doing anything that it's a free trip. I'm going to bring things back here for the citizens. It's $1,000 and in the budget."

The council also discussed whether to allow the Mayor to have a monitor to see police and public works barn surveillance cameras. The council said no to the police department access, but yes to the public works barn cameras.