The Board of Alderman for the Town of Jonesboro will have a special meeting tonight at 6:00 PM at city hall, 128 Allen Avenue.
Here is the agenda.
Likely to be contentious will be introduction of the budget ordinance. Before it can be adopted, it must be submitted for public review.
LA RS 39:1307 Public participation
A. Political subdivisions with total proposed expenditures of five hundred thousand dollars or more from the general fund and any special revenue funds in a fiscal year or other similar budgetary period shall afford the public an opportunity to participate in the budgetary process prior to adoption of the budget.
B. Upon completion of the proposed budget and, if applicable, its submission to the governing authority, the political subdivision shall cause to be published a notice stating that the proposed budget is available for public inspection. The notice shall also state that a public hearing on the proposed budget shall be held with the date, time, and place of the hearing specified in the notice. The notice shall be published at least ten days prior to the date of the first public hearing. Where applicable, publication shall be in the official journal of the political subdivision. Where there is no requirement that the political subdivision have an official journal, publication shall be in the official journal of the governing authority of the parish in which the political subdivision is located. In cases where the political subdivision is located within the boundaries of more than one parish, publication shall be in the official journal of the governing authority of each parish.
C. No proposed budget shall be considered for adoption or otherwise finalized until at least one public hearing has been conducted on the proposal. Nothing herein shall prohibit one or more political subdivisions from conducting joint public hearings.
D. The political subdivision shall certify completion of all action required by this Section by publishing a notice in the same manner as is herein provided for the notice of availability of the proposed budget and public hearing.
And, LA RS 39:1308 Inspection of the proposed budget
The proposed budget of a political subdivision shall be available for public inspection at the following locations:
(1) Municipalities: at the office of the mayor or municipal governing authority.
The fiscal year begins July 1, 2010, so everything is behind schedule.
LA RS 39:1306 Completion and submission of the proposed budget
A. The proposed budget for political subdivisions with a governing authority including municipalities, parishes, school boards, and special districts shall be completed and submitted to the governing authority of that political subdivision and made available for public inspection as provided for in R.S. 39:1308 no later than fifteen days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year…
So what is supposed to happen if the budget is not adopted as prescribed by law?
LA RS 39:1315 Violations
A. Except as provided in R.S. 39:1314, any public official or officer that violates, either knowingly or intentionally, the provisions of R.S. 39:1305(E), either through the adoption of an original budget or through amendment to a legally adopted budget, shall be a violation of R.S. 14:134 and shall be subject to the penalties contained therein.
B. Any person may commence a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction for the parish in which the political subdivision is domiciled for mandamus, injunctive, or declaratory relief to require compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.
LA RS 14:134 Malfeasance in office – SUBPART F. OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES
Malfeasance in office is committed when any public officer or public employee shall:
(1) Intentionally refuse or fail to perform any duty lawfully required of him, as such officer or employee; or
(2) Intentionally perform any such duty in an unlawful manner; or
(3) Knowingly permit any other public officer or public employee, under his authority, to intentionally refuse or fail to perform any duty lawfully required of him, or to perform any such duty in an unlawful manner.
Any duty lawfully required of a public officer or public employee when delegated by him to a public officer or public employee shall be deemed to be a lawful duty of such public officer or employee. The delegation of such lawful duty shall not relieve the public officer or employee of his lawful duty.
Whoever commits the crime of malfeasance in office shall be imprisoned for not more than five years with or without hard labor or shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or both.
But then we all know why that’s not likely to happen, don’t we?
District Att’y, J’boro Mayor Politically Connected
Town Atty, Jonesboro Mayor Have Campaign Ties
We report, you decide.