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Repercussions for missing a meeting was the main discussion

Last Tuesday morning at the monthly Police Jury Meeting, for the second consecutive month, they discussed what the consequences would be for being absent to the meetings.

“We are not having that kind of problem right now, but we want to put it on the record in case we have it. We don’t want to just bring it up all of a sudden,” said Juror Vera Davison of District 10.

The rule was introduced as if a juror was to miss a meeting, they should call and notify another juror beforehand. If they show a pattern of habitual tardiness, then they can be subject to a $50 dollar fine that would be taken out of their paycheck.

While the base rules were relatively simple, there was still room for discussion. Specifically, over what is considered to be habitual.“We meet twelve months out of the year. Let’s say a person out of those twelve months, has missed five or 6 meetings, don’t you think that’s habitual,” said Jerri Lee of District 9. Some even considered taking the word habitual out, and just giving a fine for any meeting missed without any excuse.

“Just treat this job like it’s your main job. If you’re going to be off of work on your main job, you’re gonna call in,” said Davison, “For all listed meetings, if you have a problem, and can not get here,  just say I cannot get here. Don’t let it be every time we have a meeting.”

After about twenty minutes of discussion, most were supportive of there being a fine for missing meetings, though there were some discrepancies over the what the exact wording should be, and what exactly it would imply, so it was decided that the item would go back to committee. 

Later during the meeting, Melinda Davidson, Executive Director of Webster Parish Community Services, was there to talk about their office’s various programs. After some discussion, it was asked why they are over programs in parishes other than Webster. 

“Why do you end up going to other parishes?” asked Juror Daniel Thomas of District 3. Davidson responded, “Well, they’ve lost the programs. A lot of it there was fraud or embezzlement or something in that parish. Through the years they’ve just picked up different parishes just so that the program is being served.”

So as of now they currently provide many services, including serving over 100 homes over 4 parishes with meal reimbursement through their Family Daycare Program and through their Rural Transportation Department, on an annual basis, do over 26,000 services.

The Webster Parish Police Jury meets on the first Tuesday of each month in the meeting room of the Courthouse Annex located at 401 Main Street at 10:30 a.m. This meeting is open to the public.

Will Phillips

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