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Chataignier council addresses issues within its police department

By: TONY MARKS
Associate Editor

The Chataignier Village Council addressed issues within the police department and heard updates from the events committee at the monthly meeting Monday night.
Chief of Police Clint Brasseaux again urged the council to hire another officer. “We had talked about hiring Kalinsky Ardoin last month,” he said. “He is qualified, and he’ll be starting up at the academy this month.”
Mayor Jackie Malveaux Thomas advised Brasseaux the council voted last month to look into the possibility of hiring Ardoin but will table the issue until it receives the proper documentation.
Brasseaux also urged the council to purchase new equipment for the department. “I would love to and really do believe that we need to get some body cameras especially with what happened not too far down the road,” he said. “I just think we have to have something like that.”
The council approved the purchase of two body cameras that can record for eight continuous hours and that have GPS built into them. The price for each camera is $194.78.
Upon recommendation of Mayor Thomas, the council then approved the hiring of Amy Fontenot to replace Rhonda Miller as village clerk. “She comes very highly recommended, and she’s going to be very efficient to the office,” Thomas said.
The council then approved salary adjustments for the new clerk, the council, the mayor, and the City Administrator Gayle McDavid. According to Thomas, “We’ll put Amy’s salary at $1,300.00, Mr. McDavid at $300.00, mayor at $600.00, and each council member at $150.00.”
In her first Clerk’s Report, Fontenot informed the council the parish sales tax amount is $4,210.36. She then reported that 40-percent will go into the general fund, 30-percent will go into the recreation fund, and an additional 30-percent will go into the street and drainage fund.
The council also heard from Christina Darbonne with the events committee. “We’re hoping to do some movies in the park in August for back-to-school,” she said. “It’s going to be for families to come out and enjoy a movie outside in the park, and we’ll have a little concession for purchase for minimal costs. We’ll have Coke, popcorn, nachos, and candy just like if you go to the movies, but we’ll be right here in Chataignier.”
“I’m scheduling a meeting after tonight for the events committee to get back together and work for October,” she continued to report. “It’s going to be a big event for breast cancer awareness. We’re going to move the gumbo cook-off from December to the last weekend in October. We’ll also have a breast cancer awareness walk with a balloon release and potentially something Halloween related for the kids all at the same time in one day.”
After the meeting, the council held a reception in the Fire Station to honor the outgoing clerk Rhonda Miller. In a statement Miller said, “I would like to thank the administration and citizens for the opportunity to serve this community. It has been an honor to serve the Village of Chataignier. I and my predecessor, Amy Fontenot, see great things in the future for the Village of Chataignier. Ms. Fontenot plans to continue the work to help build Chataignier back to its past glory and perhaps, beyond! My hope is that the citizens of Chataignier continue to come together to make this one of the greatest little communities in the area.”

In other business, the council:
•authorized City Administrator Gayle McDavid to proceed with taking care of the sink hole that is developing.
•and set the Christmas Parade for December 17.

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