5/28/13 Monroe City Council Meeting

Early in Tuesday’s meeting of the Monroe City Council, about 20 minutes was taken up with a public hearing and vote to reverse a decision of the Monroe Planning Commission. The commission had denied an operating application for Hope Restored Community Center to be located at 3906 DeSiard, across the street from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).

First to speak on behalf of the center was Monroe attorney Jack Wright, Jr.

Wright noted that the neighbors had no objections to the facility, and that the area already had bars, tobacco stores, tattoo parlors, and an adult movie store located there. Wright said the center would be open only three days a week and that the classes would be small.

“All they want to do is help poor people,” said Wright.

Several others spoke on behalf of the center, some of whom attended classes there.

Three members of the Planning Commission related why they denied the application, but one of the commissioners (Mike Riley) said he might decide differently if he had it to do over.

The council voted unanimously to overturn the commission’s decision, and allow the center to open.

Mayor Mayo’s attempt to have the agenda amended for adoption of cooperative endeavor agreement with the Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention met with failure when District 3’s Betty Blakes voted no for the agenda change. Changes to an agenda at a public meeting must be unanimous, according to state law.

The LMB’s annual session is set for late July at the Monroe Civic Center.

Blakes said she would not vote to approve assistance for the convention after the mayor would not approve money for summer youth programs.

Said Blakes, “I’m voting no, because to me, giving money for people that’s coming in from out of town, and we can’t give the kids (money) to go the the recreation centers for free – I’m voting no.”

An effort to pass a supplemental agreement with Denmon Engineering for an additional $100 thousand in fees on a storm water retention pond project in the Rochelle Street area fell short when Gretchen Ezernack’s (District 2) motion failed to get a second.

Randy Denmon explained that the additional money was to needed to finish the surveying and engineering, and begin right-of-way acquisition.

However, some of the council members questioned why the total amount wasn’t originally appropriated. The original amount was around $50 thousand, Denmon said.

Clark said before he could vote for the appropriation, he would need to see a budget.

Two ordinances up for a final vote were pulled by Ray Armstrong (District 1). The ordinances (limits on interim appointments and ratings on civic center events) will be reworked and resubmitted, Armstong said.

One Response to “5/28/13 Monroe City Council Meeting”

  1. WhoGetThe Money Says:

    Cooperative endeavor agreements are typically made with other governmental agencies. What was the purpose of making one with the La Misionary Baptist group?
    Sounds like government support of a religious institution. This runs rampant in Louisiana. I want to know what Mayo is up to.

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