Community organizers ask residents to attend SM meeting

Lafayette NAACP chapter leader Khadijah Rashad plans to attend Monday’s St. Martinville City Council meeting and asked supporters of Mayor Melinda Mitchell to overturn the city’s special legislative charter in order to grant Mitchell more power than the council.

ST. MARTINVILLE — With a full agenda and several issues evolving since its last meeting, the St. Martinville City Council meeting Monday evening will most likely be a long one.

During a radio interview on Oct. 23, Mayor Melinda Mitchell invited community organizers from Lafayette to attend this week’s session to help kick off an initiative aimed at overturning the city’s special legislative charter in favor of the state’s generic Lawrason Act government template.

Since then, those same organizers have requested members of the public to attend the meeting “to support the mayor.”

Mitchell’s comments during the interview with Khadijah Rashad on a Lafayette radio station that she “was liking” the idea of having voters overturn the special legislative charter so she would have more power as mayor sent ripples through the community. In an editorial last week, the town’s normally sedate Teche News wrote that Mitchell “has not demonstrated an ability to formulate and implement sound policy or present any strategic planning during her first 16 months in office. And she wants more power and control?!”

At a court hearing in New Iberia last week, Rashad made a plea for supporters to attend the Nov. 4 meeting in St. Martinville.

To top things off, a proposal to rescind Mitchell’s automobile allowance due to her failure to provide the administration with her insurance documentation is scheduled for consideration.

With those items as a backdrop, it’s not surprising that one of the first items of business on Monday night’s agenda is for parliamentarian and City Legal Counsel Allan Durand to remind attendees of the rule against interrupting a speaker.

Any potential theatrics aside, the council has a full agenda of business to address, including several guest speakers, presentations from city department heads and some of the usual business issues, including the renewal of the employee group health plan for the coming year.

If they are able to proceed, the council is scheduled to:

• Discuss the city’s Veterans Day Celebration.

Hear a red light drive request from Menda Batiste of the Notre Dame Sisters in Christ.

• Receive an update on cross-connections from Alexis Premeaux of Cenla

• Receive a presentation on the LSU Ag Center’s Turkey Trot from Jessica Randazzo.

• Receive an economic development update from Jennifer Stelly of SMEDA.

• Discuss a request from Planning and Zoning Manager Danielle Fontenette to adopt the most current International Property Maintenance Code and any future amendments.

• Approve payment to JD Rebar and Construction, Inc. for the DOTD Pedestrian Improvement Project.

• Discuss baseball field improvements as requested by the director of St. Martin Parish Youth Baseball/Softball.

• Create an expenditure plan for the remaining Recreation Bond Funds.

• Discuss parking in front of a flower shop located at 315 N. Main St.

Councilman Juma Johnson requested a discussion of a splash pad.

• Discuss out of state training for police officers.

• Consider adjusting pay grade for Anna Richard.

• Discuss sale of city property to Peppers Unlimited.

• Discuss the proposed Employee Policy and Procedure Manual.

The St. Martinville City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday evening in the city council meeting room of city hall, 120 New Market St., St. Martinville.

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