Pushback on Police Jury Junket

For the first time since we began coverage of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) seven years ago, there was opposition to approval of travel expenditures to the annual National Association of Counties (NACo) convention. This year, the convention is in Long Beach, CA (near Los Angeles), July 22-25.

The discussion was one of the last items on the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting of the jury.

Administrator Courtney Hall began the discussion by reminding the jurors that the budget was limited for travel, and that travel to other conferences were funded from that budget. About $7800 was in the fund, Hall said.

Voting no were:

Bobby Bennett – District Three
David Hammonds – District Five
Walter Pullen – District Six
Annette Straughter – District Twelve

Voting yes were:

Theresa Wyatt – District One
Hazel Hunter – District Two
Randy Roberson – District Four
Jody Backus – District Seven
Nancy Wilson – District Ten
Sharyon Mayfield – District Eleven

Skip Russell (District Eight) and Joe Henderson (District Nine) were absent.

Earlier, in the Solid Waste & Recycling Committee meeting, authorization was granted to allow the City of Ruston to build a recycling transfer station at the parish landfill off Arkansas Plant Road. Mayor Ronny Walker told the committee that the facility should be operation by January 1, 2017.

During the Public Works Committee meeting, approval was granted to “lend” $85 thousand from the jury’s General Fund account to the Lincoln Parish Exhibition Center for construction of fifty permanent stalls and addition of twenty RV sites.

In making the motion, Jody Bakus specified that the money be repaid to the fund within ten years.

Center Director Angela Manning said the improvements would allow the center to book more and larger events.

Said Manning, “I turned away five 3-day shows this past fall. As of year to date, we’ve been through the first quarter of the year, and we’ve already sold $12,200 worth of stalls. If I had fifty more, I could have sold them – would probably be up to $15 thousand already in stall rental.”

On hand for the full jury meeting was parish Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) Director Kip Franklin, who presented a comprehensive report on last month’s historic flood event. Franklin had high praise for the first responders who were involved in rescues and traffic control.

See here Franklin’s report.

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4 Responses to “Pushback on Police Jury Junket”

  1. D'arbonne Says:

    Anyone know where Skip was?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    What are the specifics on the travel vote? Was ‘yes’ to authorize the national conference or not spend for it?

  3. ThrowMeSomethin'Mr Says:

    The vote was to authorize travel to the Nation Association of Counties annual convention. Only a minority of Jurors will want to attend. When the remaining travel budget is spent, they will be on their own for any remaining expenses. There are restrictions on what can be reimbursed as well. They can’t do whatever they want.

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