OPELOUSAS — The St. Landry Parish Council is asking commissioners for the parish’s largest fire district to appear before a council committee next month to answer questions about its operations.
Former Public Works Committee Chairman Ronald Buschel suggested at the Jan. 6 committee meeting that District 3 board members should not be reappointed by the council if there is no response from the commissioners about appearing before the council on Feb. 3.
On Wednesday, council member Jerry Red Jr. said he believes it is too harsh to make demands of the district’s commissioners.
“We shouldn’t demand that anyone should come here (to a council meeting) and speak to us. I also object that we should threaten not to reappoint someone if they don’t show up,” Red said.
The vote was 11-1, with council member Wayne Ardoin casting the lone “no” vote.
Fire District’s 3 boundaries are south, west and east of Opelousas, in addition to the Lewisburg community and the town of Washington, Ardoin said.
In other matters, the council:
Defeated a request to have Parish President Bill Fontenot use a parish-owned vehicle powered by compressed natural gas rather than using his personal vehicle and accepting a monthly mileage allowance.
Former council member Pam Gautreau said at a Jan. 6 committee meeting that using a parish vehicle might save money and make it easier to determine how much fuel Fontenot uses monthly.
However, Fontenot said Wednesday he is opposed to using a parish vehicle.
Asked legal adviser Chad Pitre to research the possibility of the council having a representative on the St. Landry Parish Tax Commission.
Pitre told the council the commission was created by a state statute several years ago.
Gautreau said the council should have a representative at the commission meetings because the parish is collecting several million dollars annually from a 2-cent sales tax in unincorporated areas.
Unanimously appointed Harold Taylor as council chairman for 2016 and selected Red as vice chairman by a 10-2 vote.
Council members Alvin Stelly and Ardoin voted for Nancy Carriere, who did not vote for herself.