Locked doors keep tenants from public housing meeting

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2000

FERRIDAY — Two public housing tenants are seeing red after arriving at a Ferriday Housing Authority board meeting — and finding the door locked.

&uot;We had things we wanted to discuss before the board, but when we got to the office, we couldn’t even get in,&uot; said Angela Wells, who lives at the authority’s Montgomery Square apartment complex on Louisiana 15.

According to sources at the complex and on the board, the door was indeed locked during a Thursday night special meeting of the authority’s board.

Email newsletter signup

The meetings of publicly funded bodies must be open to the public, according to state law. Even if a board votes to go into an executive, or closed-door, session to discuss legal or personnel matters, members must first vote in an open meeting to close it. The board must then announce specific issues to be discussed during the closed session and must return to the public meeting to take any votes.

Authority Director Charles Bell could not be reached for comment. No members of the Housing Authority’s board would talk publicly about Thursday’s meeting, referring questions to Bell.

Wells said she wanted to talk with the board about providing transportation for residents who need to get to such places as work, school and doctors’ offices.

Fellow Montgomery Square resident Casandra Johnson also attempted to attend Thursday’s meeting.

There, Johnson wanted to discuss transportation issues with the board as well as other issues like reduced rent for an authority employee and the conditions under which tenants can use the complex’s recreation room.

&uot;I wanted to take these things to the board itself, … but I&160;didn’t get the chance,&uot; Johnson said.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11.