Restructuring decisions for Housing Authority of New Iberia at Tuesday City Council meeting

The New Iberia City Council will make some restructuring decisions for the New Iberia Housing Authority at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Housing Authority has been in a troubled state with the Department of Urban Housing and Development due to an ongoing dispute about federal funds not being distributed to the housing authority.

The relationship between the two authorities has become so contentious that HANI board members asked Mayor Freddie DeCourt and the city government to mediate a compromise in June.

New Iberia’s administration has the power to hire and fire New Iberia Housing Authority board members. If a board member is notified of termination, they could then ask for recourse by calling a hearing with the New Iberia City Council.

“The city administration has an interest in replacing the board or determining leadership but we really have limited authority to make a change here and if we don’t make a change we think HUD has the potential to shut this thing down,” legal counsel Jeff Simon said at a June meeting.

On Tuesday’s agenda is a resolution to remove Shawnequa Keal from the New Iberiea Housing Authority board due to a lack of attendance. Another resolution would appoint Fred Wesley, Phanat Xanamane, Darren Sophus and Dalana Boutte Touriac as commission members.

All are currently serving on the board.

In other business, the city council will vote on establishing the annual salary of the New Iberia City Marshal.

DeCourt is recommending an annual salary of $36,000 per year for the marshal, which is within the Louisiana average, according to the resolution. The salary change will go into effect on Jan. 1.

The council also will vote on an ordinance authorizing the mayor to donate two surplus police vehicles from the city of New Iberia to the town of Delcambre.

The meeting takes place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at New Iberia City Hall.

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