Ferriday mayor says he put Town Hall employees on temporary administrative leave with pay

Published 12:49 pm Thursday, March 16, 2023

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FERRIDAY, La. — Thursday and Friday last week, all of Ferriday’s Town Hall employees were sent home with pay except for the mayor, who ran the city on his own for two days.

Ferriday Mayor Rydell Turner addressed this questionable absence of employees at a regular town council meeting on Tuesday.

Recalling the five-day period in January 2022, when all government offices including first responders were closed down because the town was seven months behind the deadline to pass an operating budget for the current fiscal year, the mayor said that was not what happened this time. He had sent town hall employees home on administrative leave with pay.

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“I ran city hall. It was not shut down,” Turner said. “I just sent employees home to re-group. We’ve had too much tardiness going on, and employees being late. I told them to go home and think about things. And if the next week they couldn’t do what they had to do we would make a change. We run a business here, and that’s the way I want it run. At 8 you need to come in and do your job when you are here.”

Tuesday’s meeting of the Ferriday Mayor and Board of Aldermen also included concerned conversations about a large negative sum in the town’s finances, according to the monthly balance sheet presented to the aldermen.

The sheet showed a negative net income of $82,272.31 for the end of February and a negative $441,789.94 in the town’s general checking account, both things that concerned Alderwoman Gloria Lloyd when she spoke out in Tuesday’s meeting.

“If this is right, we are in trouble,” Lloyd said.

Town Clerk Marchelle Donnelly said those account balances may not be accurate because bank deposits may not have been reconciled before the report was made.

Turner agreed that the fund balances seemed off.

“Something’s not right with that statement,” Turner said.