Mayor Terry Gardner issued a proclamation Wednesday to hire Jimmy W. Yocom, Jr. as Minden’s New City Attorney. The position will soon be left vacant by Charles Minifield who announced his retirement earlier this month that starts June 1.
The proclamation cites specific sections of the city’s ordinance and Louisiana which the Mayor states gives him the authority to appoint an attorney without council approval given the public health emergency and the City Council’s failure to attain a quorum in recent months.
“Now therefore, be it proclaimed, that I, Terry L. Gardner, Mayor for the City of Minden, pursuant to the authority granted under La. R.S. 29:737 et seq., do hereby suspend Section 2-16 of the City’s Code of Ordinance during this State of Public Health Emergency, and do hereby appoint Jimmy W. Yocom Jr., Esq. to serve as City Attorney for the City of Minden, to advise on matters concerning COVID-19, public safety, and any other issue that may arise,” the Mayor’s proclamation read.
The revised statute that Gardner is referring to is one that gives the CEO of a municipality, i.e. the Mayor, a broad range of authorities when dealing with a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor is using that authority to suspend section 2-16 of the City’s Code of Ordinance which, “requires that the City Council appoint a City Attorney.”
The Mayor states in the proclamation that, “it is a matter of the public’s health, peace, and safety that the Mayor and City officials have legal counsel regarding COVID-19 and other issues that may arise.”
“I am very pleased to welcome Mr. Yocom aboard and look forward to working with him,” said Gardner.