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Ferriday OK’s mayor’s appointments

FERRIDAY — In a first order of business for Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen, he successfully made a transition back to the way things used to be during his prior term while also welcoming some new faces.

At a specially called meeting, the Ferriday Board of Aldermen approved all of Allen’s appointments to his administrative team and some major departments.

Richard Madison, who served as Ferriday police chief during Allen’s last administration, was appointed as police chief. Alderwoman Gloria Lloyd voted against Madison’s appointment.

Herman Smith, who also served as Ferriday fire chief during Allen’s last administration, was appointed unanimously as fire chief.

Myisha Davis was appointed unanimously as city attorney.

Tamiko Hines was appointed as town clerk with Lloyd and Alderwoman Gail Pryor dissenting.

Larry Gordon was appointed unanimously as street superintendent.

Former Mayor Odeal Montgomery weighed in on the city attorney decision after the board approved Davis during a public comments section of the meeting.

“You’re not lawyers, and in dealing with the (United Sates Department of Agriculture), you’re going to need a strong city attorney,” Montgomery said.

“You need somebody that knows the law and what to do,” she said.

Pryor, in response, said Davis is fresh out of law school, so she knows all of the new laws.

Davis said after the meeting she graduated from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge in 2009, and earned an undergraduate degree prior to that at University of Louisiana at Monroe.

“I was born and raised in Ferriday,” Davis said.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the aldermen voted to review the town’s contract with JCP, the third-party water plant operator, before executing a contract extension.

The third party operator was a requirement by the USDA for the town to secure loan funding to build a new water plant. The plant project is in the planning stages.

“(We’re reviewing the contract) to be fair to JCP, y’all did accept the contract (under the previous administration),” Allen said.

Members of the public questioned whether delaying or terminating the contract with JCP would jeopardize up to $6.5 million in grant funds from the USDA.

“The USDA cannot put this town into bankruptcy,” Allen said. “We’re going to get this grant.”

Clarence Hymon, a member of the public, said he thought the town should secure the USDA grant before the presidential election.

“This administration in Washington (D.C.) — we don’t know whether (it will) be there,” Hymon said.

“If (the country) changes administration, I can guarantee (the grant money) is not going to be there.”