The most recent Minden City Council Meeting marks the third month in a row that the City Council has failed to have enough members to hold a quorum for the regular City Council Session.
Since no items could officially be voted on, Mayor Terry Gardner took the opportunity to talk to the viewing public watching from home about some of the items on the agenda, acting City Clerk Michael Fluhr gave an update regarding Minden’s financials, and both present Councilmen provided comments regarding the absent Councilmen and their absence.
Gardner referenced the growing list of agenda item the Council needed to vote on, including the hiring of two police officers, awarding bids for the Minden Airport’s 2.1 million dollar rehabilitation project, electing a Mayor Pro Tempore, awarding a bid for road overlays, and appointing an interim Council Representative for Dist. A.
On the subject of appointing a representative for Dist. A, Councilman Pam Bloxom of Dist. E stated, “We need to adopt a resolution ordering a special election to elect a council representative from Dist. A. That’s the election of people in Dist. A, that’s not the appointment from the Governor.”
“Without that special election being called, it’s not going to make the November Ballot. Dist. A could go without representation until the end of the calendar year with the way we seem to be progressing,” said Bloxom. “The City Councilman from B and C are preventing District A from having representation.”
Mayor Gardner also stated that a delayed special election to elect a new Councilman for Dist. A could end up costing the city thousands. “If we don’t get it approved by then to have the election on November the 3rd, this is going to cost the city between ten to fifteen thousand dollars because we’ll be doing it by ourselves,” said Gardner.
Given the success of holding a special session in late May by having an agenda with a limited number of items, Councilman Bloxom suggested holding another one for this Wednesday in order to get an election for the Dist. A Council seat on the November election ballot before the deadline.
“That has to be submitted to Baton Rouge by June 17. Anyone in Dist. A would be able to file for the November 3 election,” said Bloxom.
Both Mayor Gardner and Councilman Beard approved of the suggestion.
When asked for comment, Councilman Keith Beard of Dist. D brought attention to the delay that the absences were causing for some of the City’s much-needed overlays.
“One of the items that is really disappointing, especially for those folks who live on … Pine, Horton, and Fincher that we’re trying to get fixed,” said Beard.
“So I just want residents of those streets to know that we want to get those overlays, it’s on our agenda to take care of that.”
On top of that, Beard also saw fit to challenge the notion that the Councilmen are able to continue to do their jobs while not attending meetings or voting on items.
“I think there was a comment that was made, that you can do your job and not come to meetings. I think I heard that comment was made. As far as a Councilperson, that maybe I could stay home and not have to come to meetings and I could still be a good person, obviously not. As you’ve shared tonight, obviously there’s a lot of things that we need to get done.”
The regular session for the Minden City Council Meeting takes place on the first Monday of every month starting at 5:30 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting is currently closed to the general public, but can still be viewed live at the City of Minden’s Youtube page, City of Minden – Feels Like Home.