Ferriday meeting devolves into shouting match

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FERRIDAY — Questions from a candidate for Mayor of Ferriday about an ongoing construction project disintegrated into a screaming match Tuesday night.

The Rev. Justin Conner asked the board why architectural plans for a music pavilion being constructed on First Street had not yet been displayed for the public to see.

Conner approached the board about the same thing in December, but did not receive an answer because Mayor Glen McGlothin was absent due to illness.

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At Tuesday’s regular meeting, McGlothin responded in frustration telling Conner that the pavilion had been thoroughly discussed in public meetings and Conner should have the information he sought.

Conner responded saying it was ridiculous the mayor hadn’t been there in two months while the citizens had been requesting the drawing.

“It’s ridiculous that when we’re here to ask questions, they say we have to wait on the mayor, and we want to know what the finished product is going to look like,” Conner said.

McGlothin questioned the comments regarding his absence citing his unpreventable illness.

“I’m assuming you can’t get sick like everyone else?” McGlothin said.

After several heated comments between the two, McGlothin assured Conner that the drawings were available at Town Hall and that he would get a copy posted at the site of the project.

After the meeting, McGlothin said pictures had been previously displayed at the site, but were ruined because of rain damage.

At the end of the meeting, McGlothin apologized for his reaction toward Conner.

“I get short nerved and that’s the reason I’m not running (for mayor),” McGlothin said. “I want to publicly apologize to you because that’s not right. It’s not the right way to be.”

The music pavilion will include a stage for concerts, but will also be a farmers and flee market.

Construction is slated to be complete by March, and McGlothin said he hopes it will be ready to open in May.

In other news from the board of aldermen meeting:

-A cooperative endeavor agreement between Concordia Parish, the Communications District, which handles 911 services, and the Town of Ferriday was approved, giving the police department eight new police radios.

Police Chief Johnny Evans said the police department will receive the radios, which are similar to the ones currently used by the department, through the program and all that is required is for the department to purchase batteries and maintain them in working condition.

-McGlothin announced an update to a street improvement plan saying that 10 to 14 streets in poor condition will be fixed.

Among those streets are 10th Street and Alabama Street, which McGlothin said are so bad that any lack of action taken now would result in prices three fold later.

-McGlothin said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Hospitals had sent a list of things needing to be fixed at the water plant, but none of which involved the production of water at the plant.

“We’re going to wait because we’re trying to make that thing run and make good water, and as long as it does that, I don’t know why they’d be on our case about it,” McGlothin said. “They’re not going to push it, they’re just going to say it needs to get done.”

McGlothin said changes included building a new fence around the plant and purchasing generators for the plant, all of which would cost approximately $250,000.