The Lafayette Parish School Board plans to take care of legal matters at a special meeting on Monday dealing with a tax millage and hiring a new special counsel.
The tax millage item is a requirement that the board give public notice that it will levy an existing 16.7-mill property tax that was set to expire in 2014 but that voters agreed in 2012 to renew.
The board at the special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday also will consider a resolution to hire new special counsel for a potential cost savings of $80,000.
The special counsel resolution involves the board hiring Tonya Smith and rescinding a resolution that named Borne, Wilkes, Smith and Rabalais LLC as special counsel.
Smith previously worked with the firm and represented the School Board while the board was its special counsel. She’s started her own firm, and the school system’s administrators have proposed that the board continue its relationship with Smith.
The arrangement is expected to save up to $80,000 a year in special counsel legal fees, according to information attached to the board meeting agenda. The new special counsel resolution also caps Smith’s fees at $35,000 a month.
Smith represents the board in its worker’s compensation claims and liability claims, which in the past have totaled about $500,000, said Billy Guidry, the school system’s chief financial officer.
Staff had considered meeting in a workshop on Monday to discuss a new tax as it prepares to consider a resolution calling for an election to ask voters to approve either a bond issue or some kind of new tax revenue — property and/or sales.
Now, that workshop discussion likely won’t happen until Nov. 23 or 24, said Superintendent Donald Aguillard.
That’s days before Thanksgiving and only a week before a Dec. 2 meeting at which the board will consider a resolution to call the election.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.