Lincoln Fire District Chairman Says Jurors “Disrupted” Meeting

In a letter addressed to two Lincoln Parish Police Jurors and copied to other jurors, Lincoln Parish Fire District No. 1 Board of Commissioner’s Chairman Tom Thompson accused the two of “disruptions” of the district’s November 6 meeting.

Wrote Thompson, “The disruptions in our meeting had a few of our commissioners upset.” Thompson also wrote, “In conclusion, let me stress the fact that I have never, ever disrupted a Police Jury meeting.”

See here the letter.

The letter was also copied to the fire districts board of commissioners, and LPPJ staff.

There will be a special meeting of the district’s board Monday, December 3, 5:00 PM, at the administrative office, 4786 Hwy 167, Dubach, LA.

See here the agenda.

7 Responses to “Lincoln Fire District Chairman Says Jurors “Disrupted” Meeting”

  1. Mr. Ed Says:

    According to La law they must allow public comment before each vote, and they do not.
    Also it’s obvious from the budgets available online that they are spending more than their annual income on operations, and it is very poor practice to remove money from a capital replacement fund (money intended to replace aging equipment) to spend on operations.

    • Cowboy Says:

      If I’m not mistaken, that’s exactly what happened with the Detention Center. The administrators neglected repairs and upkeep by transferring maintenance funds into operations. Now, the DC is in shambles and the commission is maneuvering for a tax to fund repairs that were already funded by another tax.

      The point of having a capital replacement fund is to prepare for the day when equipment must be replaced. It’s not to be used to fund ongoing operations. What happens when the Fire District spends the capital replacement fund and needs new equipment? Will we be asked to approve yet another tax?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I read the law concerning meetings. I cannot find anywhere that you have to allow public comments before a vote. If someone can find me a law that says you do have to I would appreciate the reference.

    • former volunteer Says:

      a simple google search provided this link for you.

      http://ag.state.la.us/Shared/ViewDoc.aspx?Type=3&Doc=311

      At the bottom of page 3 you will find the following quote:

      “D. Except school boards, which shall be subject to R.S. 42:15, each public body conducting a meeting which is subject to the notice requirements of R.S. 42:19(A) shall allow a public comment period at any point in the meeting prior to action on an agenda item upon which a vote is to be taken. The governing body may adopt reasonable rules,regulations, and restrictions regarding such comment period.”

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you. I had not spotted that before. However it says the comment period has to be before a vote on an item on the agenda. It does not say when other than say before. You could have a comment period at the beginnig of the meeting to cover all tiems on the agenda. Nor does it say you have to have a seperate comment period for each item. A body could adopt an adgenda, have a comment period, then conduct all their busines and adjourn.
    Just saying

    • Walter Abbott Says:

      This type of hair-splitting by public bodies in an attempt to stifle the public’s participation is precisely the type behavior that motives me to keep covering local governmental meetings, reporting on what goes on, and encouraging comments from readers – anonymous and otherwise.

      This particular point of law may eventually have to be litigated to define what is “point in the meeting prior to action on an agenda item,” but I have no doubt as to the intent of the open meetings law.

      If you will read 42:12, you will see that the law directs that the provisions of the act are to be construed liberally. What that means is that the taxpaying public who attend these meetings get the benefit of the doubt, and whenever governments try to shut down public participation, it usually means they are hiding something.

      • Dr. No Says:

        Exactly. It belongs to people, not to politicians and it ought to be operated for people’s benefit. Period.

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