OPELOUSAS — Former police Chief Perry Gallow is asking the city for $43,658 to cover more than 1,000 hours of unused annual leave — a request the Opelousas Board of Aldermen on Tuesday set aside, for now.
Gallow served two terms as police chief before he was defeated in the Dec. 6 runoff by Donald “DT” Thompson.
Thompson said Gallow’s request involves payment for 1,032 hours over his eight-year term.
The board voted without opposition to have its Budget Committee review Gallow’s request before making any final decision.
Alderman Julius Alsandor said the board’s delay does not mean Gallow is not eligible to receive the funds.
“That’s a lot of hours. Because of this amount, it must be checked and double-checked,” Alsandor said.
Alderman Tyrone Glover asked if Gallow’s payment could be divided into more than one check.
“We’re certainly going to look at it and discuss it in depth. Then we will decide whether to move on it,” said Blair Briggs, chairman of the board’s Finance Committee.
Gallow did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, which was the first for the new police chief and for Mayor Reggie Tatum, who defeated two-term Mayor Donald Cravins Sr. in the Dec. 6 runoff.
Both Thompson and Tatum addressed the standing room only crowd at Tuesday’s meeting.
Tatum said one of his first priorities is to back up city records on computer. He said all city records currently are in filing cabinets.
Thompson said he plans to have himself and his higher-ranking officers joining the 12 patrol units currently canvassing the city.
Thompson also requested a pay raise for his dispatch unit. He said the dispatchers currently earn $7.50 an hour. He said he would like to see that amount raised to $10 an hour.
The department, Thompson said, has already lost one dispatcher to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, which offered the employee more money.
Alsandor said Thompson should not make his request “in haste,” because a pay increase will affect all Police Department officers who, like the dispatchers, are civil service workers.
The City Council deferred the matter to its Budget Committee.
And on Tuesday, Tatum received board approval on all three of his appointments: Jarvis Claiborne to replace Garrett Duplechin as city attorney; Lisa Anderson to replace Karen Frank as clerk and tax collector; Morgan Goudeau & Associates reappointed as city engineer.
Alsandor cast the lone voted against Anderson’s appointment.
Meanwhile, Alsandor was voted in as mayor pro tempore, with Glover casting the only “no” vote.