by staff reporter Nora Drenner
Interim has been removed from Johnny Salard’s job title as he is now Director of Public Works for Natchitoches Parish. Such action took place during the council’s regular meeting on Feb. 24.
Salard had been serving as interim since John Richmond moved to his current position as parish president. Previously Salard served as the parish road maintenance supervisor. Council member John Salter was the lone vote against hiring Salard.
Salard was hired at the recommendation of the search committee. Serving on that committee were Richmond, the parish HR director and council members Chris Paige and Jim Kilcoyne who were appointed by their peers during last month’s meeting.
Noted was three applicants met the requirements for the position and prior to interviews one applicant dropped out. Council member Pasty Ward Hoover questioned why the council had not seen the applications. The response to Hoover’s inquiry was there was no requirement for the search committee to do so as the council members appointed to the search committee were the council’s representatives.
Hoover also asked what made Salard stand out over the other applicant. Councilman Kilcoyne responded that while both candidates were qualified, Salard’s background was in the public sector while the other applicant was in the private sector.
Additionally, the council went into executive session to address a recent accident in which a parish grader operator reportedly backed into an occupied private vehicle. Apparently, the occupant suffered injuries and the vehicle along with adjacent private property sustained extensive damages. The accident is reported to have occurred on Harmony Road.
Following the behind closed doors session, the parish council instructed the parish attorney to enter negotiations with the plaintiff’s attorney regarding the property damage portion of the case. The bodily injury case will be handled later.
In other business, at the request of Richmond the council said no on an ordinance to approve a cooperative endeavor agreement between the parish and Save the Children to lease parish property at 700 Trudeau Street.
Richmond recommended moving the parish’s Office of Community Service to the Trudeau St. site saying it was a larger space. The OCS is currently housed at the Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging located at 1016 Keyser Ave. Councilman Paige abstained from voting on the matter.
The council unanimously confirmed reappointing Carol O’Quinn to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 5 Board, Johnny Poissot to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board, Emile Metoyer to the Natchitoches Parish Water Works District 2 Board and Matthew Dodson to the Saline Lake Game and Fish Preserve Commission.
In a split vote with Paige, Kilcoyne and Marty Cheatwood giving the nod, and Salter and Hoover saying no, the council confirmed reappointing George Minturn to the Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission.
The board unanimously gave its nod to confirming reappointment of Lainey Wright and Leslie Bayonne to the Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission.
Kilcoyne was appointed to the Natchitoches Parish Hospital Service District Board with Paige abstaining from the vote.
Ordinances 001-2020, 003-2020, 004-2020 were approved authorizing the transfer of the title to property identified as the Breda Head Start Center to Save the Children, authorizing the transfer of title to property identified as the Campti Head Start Center to the Town of Campti and authorizing the transfer of title to property identified as the NSU Head Start Center to Northwestern State University.