For several years, we have tape-recorded all the meeting we’ve attended – city council, police jury, school board – mostly so that we can accurately report quotes from the participants, but also, as in this case, to recall exactly who said what and when. It is amazing sometimes how after the fact, several people who witnessed the same discussion, or actually participated in it, can come up with differing accounts of what happened.
On several occasions, we’ve confronted politicians about what they said, only to have them deny having said it. An audio tape is invaluable for times like that.
In this case during last Tuesday’s Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) meeting, there was a critical point where Randy Roberson (District Four) attempted to amend Joe Henderson’s (District Nine) motion to adopt the roll-forward ordinance.
As we had reported earlier, Henderson’s motion was to adopt all six millage rates as a group. Roberson wanted to amend the motion to vote on each tax individually. Jury President Jody Backus ignored Roberson’s duly seconded motion, and called for the vote on Henderson’s original motion.
Herewith the word-for-word discussion:
Roberson: “Can we roll the millages back and change the library millage?”
Annette Straughter (District 12): “I think we have a motion on the floor first, don’t we?”
Roberson: “I’m going to amend the motion, if I can get a ruling that I can.”
Henderson: “If you get a second on the amendment.”
Bobby Bennett: “It’s been seconded.”
There was some more discussion on procedure before this final comment.
Walter Pullen (District 6): You’re not trying to change one little thing about the amendment, you’re trying to do a whole new motion.”
Roberson: “Well then I know what to do, so go ahead.”
By this point President Jody Backus (District Seven) had never acknowledged Roberson’s amendment motion and second, and said this: “We now have a motion on the floor. We have a second, and we’re going to call for a roll call vote at this time.”
After the vote failed, Backus then moved for ANOTHER vote on the identical motion. It also failed 7-5.