Port Allen city council introduces proposed budget with no opposition

Less than a week after being appointed Port Allen Mayor Lynn Robertson presided over her first public meeting Monday night. The meeting included results from the city's annual audit.

"This audit process went very easy this year better than last year and certainly better than two years ago," said auditor Howard Tull.

Despite plenty of crossroads over the last year, Port Allen's finances are deemed to be in good shape according to Tull and a new proposed budget was presented by Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain.

"Capital expenditures for police units to have them purchased and outfitted, six of them is $180,000," said McCain.

The police budget joins the $375,000 dollars allotted annually for road repair and overlay projects as the big ticket items in this budget. A 2.35% cost of living raise for city employees is also in the proposed budget but some council members like Ray Helen Lawrence questioned if it is enough.

"Our lower performing employees are not getting what I feel is absolutely necessary," said Lawrence.

In the end, a motion to introduce the budget received a quick second.

"Any opposition?" asked Robertson. "The budget stands introduced."

That is an efficient  and refreshing change for some city council members who say they have become used to stalemates.

"Very good start," said Councilman Hugh Riviere. "There was a lot of communication over the past week with new mayor. I sat down with her for nearly two hours. It was a very fruitful discussion."

"It's very nice to have things go unopposed and I appreciate meeting tonight and hope they all go smoothly from this point," added Ray Helen Lawrence.

"Everybody wants the same thing they want to work for what's best for the city and everybody in council has that in their heart and that's what they really want to work toward," said Robertson.

The proposed budget will now be subject to a 14 day public viewing period with a vote scheduled for the regular council meeting on January 8.

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