Police Jury’s former secretary-treasurer resigns

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — Former Interim Secretary and Treasurer Cathy Darden has officially tendered her resignation to the police jury after continuing to work in that office in other capacities.

During its Monday meeting, the Concordia Parish Police Jury entered into an executive session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel. After returning to the open meeting, they unanimously accepted the resignation letter from Darden.

Darden’s resignation from the Concordia Parish Police Jury follows the hiring of Ariella Carter to that position in October 2022.

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Darden, who is also a former police juror herself and performed similar duties as Police Jury Secretary in Tensas Parish, had been hired to temporarily fill the Secretary and Treasurer position vacated by Sandi Burley in July 2022.

However, she remained employed by the police jury after Carter had been hired to train Carter and to assist with past grants and projects, such as the resurfacing of gravel and paved roads and the Brushy Bayou drainage grant projects awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Darden said Wednesday, “I believe Ms. Carter is very capable and leave everything in her good hands.” She added she is “just a phone call away” should the parish ever need her.

It was announced Wednesday that the parish would receive an additional $4.3 million toward the $10 million Brushy Bayou drainage project, which is designed to alleviate flooding in 40 percent of the northern part of the parish.

This is in addition to the $6.2 million awarded last year. Additionally, FEMA awarded $2 million toward a $5 million project to resurface parish roads with a 25 percent match required.

In other matters, of the Concordia Parish Police Jury, the board:

·      Voted unanimously to pay International Trucking based in Monroe to replace the engine in the parish’s dump truck. The cost of the repair is $30,137.23, said Road Superintendent and Public Works Director Tony Guillory.

·      Agreed to send a letter to the Department of Transportation Division to address issues with a clogged culvert in Ferriday

·      Discussed using ChemPro Services to spray both sides of parish roads twice a year at a rate of $95 per mile to reach hard-to-reach areas and ditches and clear away unwanted vegetation. The board authorized Guillory to review road maps with the company to obtain a specific price.

·      Addressed sending a letter for an ordinance violation for tall grass at 617 Concordia Park Drive.

·      Voted unanimously to adjust the working hours for parish courthouse employees to 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and approved updates to the employee handbook.

·      Established a new bank account for rededicated funds from the Concordia Parish Public Health Unit. In April 2023, the parish voted to rededicate 1.81 mills — or approximately $287,000 annually — from the fund for “purposes of acquiring, constructing, maintaining and supporting public roads and drainage, including equipment, animal welfare, and public buildings,” according to the ballot proposition. The move does not raise taxes but allows the parish to use excess money from the fund for other purposes.