Cowan: ‘No’ to Ferriday clerk’s job

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. — Gayle Cowan served as Ferriday’s town clerk in the late 1980s and early ’90s — and now that then-Mayor Glen McGlothin has been reelected, he wants her to serve as town clerk again.

The only problem is that Cowan doesn’t want the job, and told McGlothin so shortly after the March 14 municipal election. For one thing, she said she is satisfied with her current job as a grant writer for the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

&uot;And I couldn’t take the stress (of being town clerk),&uot; Cowan said. &uot;It’s just not something I&160;want to do again.&uot;

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Last time Cowan assumed the post of town clerk — when McGlothin was elected for the first time, in 1988 — there was plenty of stress to go around. According to McGlothin, the town then faced a debt of $900,000 and struggled to pay its bills.

Ferriday’s funds made the news again earlier this month when, just prior to the release of a state auditor’s report, Town Clerk Ida Tolliver and Water Clerk Kathy Green were fired for allegedly stealing about $118,000 from the town’s coffers.

They were arrested March 15 and charged with theft and malfeasance of office. Assistant Police Chief Margaret Lawrence is now serving as acting town clerk.

Cowan said the current controversy had nothing to do with her decision not to accept the town clerk’s post.

Despite Cowan’s refusal to accept a job at Town Hall, McGlothin would like her to help review resumes for the town’s clerk position and help train workers at Town Hall.

&uot;I could really use her help,&uot; McGlothin said.

And Cowan has said she will gladly help McGlothin get his administration in order.

Meanwhile, McGlothin said he has already received two resumes for the town clerk’s position and hopes to interview applicants and have someone in mind for the position by the end of April, although he does not take office until July 1.

McGlothin said he hopes to hire four people, including a town clerk, to work at Town Hall and plans to divide their duties as Myles Hopkins, the town’s accountant, has suggested to help prevent misappropriation of funds.

Hopkins has recommended that one employee be in charge of collecting cash. Others would be in charge of posting accounts receivable, making bank deposits and reconciling accounts.

&uot;The recommendations (Hopkins) makes, I&160;intend to follow,&uot;&160;McGlothin said. &uot;It doesn’t mean we don’t trust anyone — but we have got to have a system of checks and balances in City Hall.&uot;

McGlothin said having qualified, reliable personnel at Town Hall will be crucial to the success of his administration. &uot;They’re the ones that will actually be doing the work,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;The mayor is there to oversee it.&uot;