PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - A relatively quiet city council meeting became anything but Wednesday night in Port Allen, when a proposal to name department heads was introduced. An ordinance that Mayor Deedy Slaughter immediately opposed.
"I have not given this council a written recommendation to create, abolish, merge or consolidate any department for the City of Port Allen," said Slaughter.
"The court ruling said our CFO and CAO should be considered and are department heads and I think we should have it by ordinance," said Councilman Hugh Riviere.
The struggle then boiled over into the public in attendance.
"It looks like to me we are trying to make this a publicly racial thing. She's a black woman mayor," said Wendell Hightower.
Others denied claims of racism and argued the issue was simply a matter following city bylaws.
"All of them are responsible for answering to each and every one of us," said Rhonda Aucoin.
"Certain things do not have to go through the council so this is where the struggle is coming and I just want the citizens, the council, to respect me just as much as I respect you," said Slaughter.
City attorney Victor Woods acted as the moderator through most of the tense moments in the end offered a plea to those in attendance.
"Let's just take a moment and take a breath and let's all stop pointing fingers at one another and let's just see what we can do to make this work," said Woods.