The May Minden City Council meeting was a brief affair, only addressing four agenda items as opposed to last month’s meeting which addressed over twenty.
The only item addressed outside of the regular adoption of minutes, budget report, and police report was the promotion of Minden Fire Fighter Cory Plunkett to the rank of Captain.
Fire Chief Kipp Mourad stated that he has been with the department over seven years now, and with the retirement of one of their former Captains, he believed it was best for Cory to take over that position. This promotion was motioned in and passed by the Council unanimously.
City Clerk Michael Fluhr presented the budget report, but not before addressing why the auditors weren’t there that meeting to discuss the city’s recent audit.
“Usually you would expect the first item on the agenda to be the yearly report from the auditors. Since the audit was approved last Friday afternoon, it was not possible to schedule Mr. Green anymore,” said Fluhr. However, he assured the council that the auditor would be there to speak in next month’s meeting.
During Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper’s report, Councilman pam Bloxom of Dist. E asked a question in reference to a recent break in that took place at a pawn shop, conducted by juveniles recently.
“Chief could you elaborate on this new gang of youngsters that seems to be active within the city limits of Minden?” asked Bloxom.
“It’s a group of individuals that are ranging from ages 12 to 16. We’re doing a lot of tracking on them as we speak. They’re getting on social media basically doing the same thing as our other gang,” said Cropper.
“We’ve had, and I’m not sure if any of these individuals were involved, but we had five juveniles arrests made in an attempted breakin of a local pawn shop here in town that housed many many guns. We were real fortunate they didn’t actually access that building. If they would have, we would’ve had guns all over the streets of Minden.”
“It’s just a group that copycating off of what we’ve already gotten, they’re just a lot younger,” said Cropper.
This break in, along with the culprits being juveniles, led Councilman Michael Roy of Dist. D to use his time for comment to make the passing of a curfew for the City of Minden a priority for the council. Attempts had been made in recent months to pass such an ordinance, but ultimately the proposals were never fully agreed upon by the council.
“Mayor, I would ask that you would call a workshop for the council including the Chief and Sherb, our city court judge, because honestly I think we need to revisit the curfew. That’s a priority that I think that we’ve let go by the wayside as a council, and I truly think that it needs to be addressed, because these kids are younger and younger, getting themselves in trouble,” said Roy. “I just think it needs to be done and doesn’t need to be put by the wayside anymore.”
Bloxom voiced similar concern, but was notably more targeted with her language, calling out the remaining Councilmen and blaming them for the ordinance’s failure to pass.
“For months the Mayor and two councilmen have been attempting to pass a curfew ordinance for children under the age of 17 years old within the city limits of Minden. The ordinance was created by a citizens committee, examined and supported by some of Minden’s finest high school students, and recently adopted by several area cities,” said Bloxom.
“Still three of our own council members refused to vote for this highly necessary ordinance. Tonight, I am stating for the record that I have supported this proposed ordinance each time it came up for a vote. Going forward, not me, not Micahel Roy, not Mayor Gardner, but the remaining councilmen will have blood on their hands when Minden’s youth are involved in local killings.”
Some of the Councilmen were visibly taken aback by the accusation, but were unable to give a response. The time for comment starts in Dist. A and ends in Dist. E, so the councilmen had already forgone their time for comment by the time Bloxom made the above statement. Before more discours started, the Mayor quickly moved into their time for comment and promptly ended the meeting soon after.
The Minden City Council takes place on the first Monday of each month starting at 5:30 PM. The meeting takes place at Minden City hall and is open to the public to attend. A stream of the meeting can also be found on the City of Minden’s Facebook page and Youtube channel titled, City of Minden – Feels Like Home.