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|Police Jury concerned over new ethics law|
The Concordia Parish Police Jury agreed Monday night that Senate Bill 718 -- known as the ethics bill -- is having a negative effect on public service.
Concordia, like other parishes statewide, "is losing good people on our boards because of this law," said Jury President Melvin Ferrington.
The jury's discussion on the matter came after Ferrington read a letter from the Rapides Parish Police Jury in which president Richard Billings said he is "having to accept numerous resignations." Billings said "good honest people that have served" Rapides for many years are resigning because the new ethics bill "would inflict an unnecessary burden on their service."
Ferrington said police juries across the state are losing members who served without pay on various boards and commissions.
"This is hurting all parishes and having a negative effect on getting good people to serve on these boards," said Ferrington.
The new law states that each person "holding public office who represents a voting district having a population of 5,000 or more persons" is subject to financial disclosure. The first filings are due May 15, 2009.
Members serving on these boards must provide a glimpse of their finances and those of their spouses in some instances. Descriptions of transactions involving stocks, bonds, commodities and immovable property in excess of $5,000 is also required.
Juror Red Tiffee said a board member from the Monterey area resigned from a board this week due to the new ethics law.
"It's hurting us," said Tiffee.
In other business, the Jury:
• Appointed Emerson Slain to the Kisatchie Delta Board of Directors.
• Accepted the resignation of Will Lipsey from the Black River Lake Recreation & Water Conservation District.
• Approved the Council on Aging millage resolution and authorized the president and secretary-treasurer to sign all documents.
• Approved transfers totaling $2,375 from the Solid Waste Fund to the General Fund, $7,500 from the Sales Tax Fund to the General Fund and $10,000 from the General Fund to the Criminal Court Fund.
• Approved an alcohol permit for Bert A. Taunton, Taunton's of Monterey, 6509 Hwy. 129, Class "B" Beer and Liquor.
• Voted to purchase an ad for a map published by the Chamber of Commerce.
• Heard from Chuck James who had questions about the control weir on Lake St. John. The jury referred James to the Lake St. John Recreational & Water Conservation District Board.
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