Even after the District Attorney stepped in and filed a writ of mandamus, a court order issued to public officials to tell them to do their duties, Councilmen Terika Williams Walker of Dist. B and Vincen Bradford of Dist. C have continued to remain absent for the most recent City Council meeting.
“This is an agenda that is crucial to the operation of our city. The agenda has not changed, it’s going to stay the same,” said Mayor Terry Gardner.
Both present councilmen shared some comments during the meeting, including Pam Bloxom of Dist. E, who chose to bring attention to a grant the Minden Airport will potentially miss out on.
“We’ve got this grant money that’s been awarded to Minden airport. And it’s a result of the coronary relief act and economic security act. Minden’s Airport is due to receive a $30,000 grant. We don’t get the money unless we have an adopted resolution by this council. The resolution has to be in Baton Rouge by June the 4th for us to receive this money,” said Bloxom.
“So based on what’s been happening and what we probably will see from now until June 4th, Minden is going to lose this 30,00 dollars because we have two council members that will not do the job they were elected to do.”
Beard, who on Monday’s meeting stated he was possibly going to make a statement regarding the Councilmen’s absences, instead decided to shift the focus and address some of the criticism he said he has received on social media.
“I wanted to speak to the citizens of Minden in defense of myself for a change. I can’t judge other folks, especially on this board. I know a lot of negative comments have been made on social media about you (referring to Gardner) and Mrs. Bloxom, and I’ve been thrown into the mix too,” said Beard.
“I didn’t grow up in this city. Most of you, the only way you know me is what you see through this camera. Some of you have attended meetings, maybe what you read in the newspaper. But I just want to share with you about the way I feel about the way I vote. The way I speak on issues that concern our city. Those come from me, Keith Beard. They don’t come from Mayor Gardner, Mrs. Bloxom, Mrs. Walker, Mr. Bradford, they don’t come from anybody else.”
“I listen to people, I hear comments, I hear suggestions, recommendations. I try to look at the whole picture. But if you truly knew me personally, you would laugh if you heard that I was a puppet, or that I was controlled by somebody else. That’s not who I am.
I just wanted to share that for the public today. I just needed to say that and get it off my chest,” said Beard.
At the end of the “meeting” Gardner also mentioned that Minden will be opening back up as part of Phase One of Louisiana’s reopening that’s set to start this Friday, May 15.
“We will open this Friday. All the restaurants will be opening up at 25% occupancy. The churches will open up at 25% occupancy. Our city hall, the light and water department, you can come in there and pay your bills. You will be given a facemask if you don’t already have one on when you enter the building and we will also take your temperature,” said Gardner.
He also stated that the curfew will be lifted on Friday as well. He also noted that while things may be opening back up, the citizens of Minden need to continue to take proper precautions as well.
“This is going to get our city back to some normalcy. We’re going to ask everybody to take this seriously. When you enter buildings and shop, wear a facemask. If your immune system is weak, you’re encouraged to continue to stay home.”
The next City Council Special Session will take place on Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m. The meeting can be viewed live from the City’s Youtube Channel titled City of Minden – Making it Work.