The Minden City Council met on Wednesday afternoon in order to discuss the items on the agenda before the upcoming November City Council Meeting. The agenda is relatively slim compared to previous agenda’s, only currently hosting six different items of discussion, the most intriguing of which include the Appointment of a new City Clerk, Minden Police Department promotions, and a grant for a project at the Minden Airport.
While a short discussion, it was revealed that after weeks of interviews that the City Council has decided to hire Debra Smith as the new City Clerk.
When it came to the subject of Police Department promotions, Chief Steve Cropper of the MPD explained that a scheduling change he made early in his career from three eight hours shifts to two twelve hour shifts a day made it so the eight Officer 1st Class and three Captain positions were opened.
Under Civil Service, this set a standard for how the MPD staffed each shift as well as the filling of vacancies for these positions. “The Civil Service explained to the Minden Police Department that this set standards as far as creating vacancies when it comes to promotion to Officer 1st class,” said Chief Cropper.
Additionally, the Chief has passed every officer that passed the examination to Officer 1st Class as soon as their test scores were confirmed, also setting a standard under Civil Service.
Given these set standards, Cropper explained that the standards set also made it so they were currently in violation of promoting an officer to the rank of Captain, something that was set to take place earlier in the year, but after the pandemic, it got put to the side.
“It got up on top of me and I never promoted him, so legally, we’re in violation,” said Cropper.
The Civil Service board has stated that under a revised statute, if a Captain isn’t promoted in the Nov. City Council Meeting, the City of Minden will be in violation of State Civil Service Law. The same goes for four officers awaiting promotion of Officer 1st Class.
The next item addressed was that of authorizing the Mayor to execute an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Transportation for improvement to the Minden Airport. The Director of the Airport Steven Burdeaux stated that this would allow them to receive a $125,000 grant.
Burdeaux stated the airport was receiving this grant, “so we can eliminate some obstruction and potentially purchase some properties that will allow us to put more of a perimeter fence around the airport. This would be 100% funded through the state.”
The Minden City Council Meeting will take place on Monday, Nov. 2 starting at 5:30 p.m. While the meeting is open to the public, given measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, those who come in person are asked to wear masks and socially distance. Those who want to watch without attending in person can do so at the City of Minden’s Youtube Channel titled City of Minden – Feels Like Home.