French Settlement Aldermen Discuss AG opnion

French Settlement Mayor Toni Guitreau and Alderman Teresa Miller discuss the request the village will make to the state Attorney General on supplemental pay for the municipal police officers.

FRENCH SETTLEMENT - There will be no change to the Village of French Settlement’s per diem policy.

After a brief discussion of two separate guidelines provided by national organizations, the Board of Aldermen decided to take no action to change the ordinance.

The policy currently allows for a $30 advance to village employees who travel for official business without having to turn in their receipts. If an employee wishes to be reimbursed for meal expenses over the $30 advance, they must submit their receipts. The total allowable amount per day for meal expenses is $75.

A request by an employee to bring the policy in line with the guidelines provided by the General Services Administration (GSA) would have increased the amount advanced without requiring receipts. The policy has been in place since 2014.

“Since 2014, we’ve never had anybody turn in anything over thirty,” Mayor Toni Guitrau said. “If you feel that you’ll eat $75 a day, bring us the receipts.”

“It’s not about the amount,” Alderman Teresa Miller said. “It’s the simplicity that they get the money up front and they don’t have to bring receipts back. And I understand that, but I still believe in the transparency we’ve had all along.”

“If you do a disbursement you need to have something attached to it showing where the money went,” Miller said.

The discussion then turned to the outstanding warrant amnesty program. This allows people with warrants issued by the Mayor’s Court to pay their fines without the added cost of fees associated with the issuance of the warrant and to avoid possible arrest.

“We did this back in 2014 and 2015 and it worked out really good,” Guitrau said. “We were able to clear some of these older ones off our books.”

The program is scheduled to run from May 13th through June 30th. It does not clear any fines that may have been incurred through the Office of Motor Vehicles.

In other news, Assistant Police Chief and emergency manager Lawrence Callendar informed the board a police vehicle has been purchased with the remaining money received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency advanced as a result of the 2016 flood and will be in service Friday, May 10th. The unit is the second purchased with the relief money and replaces two units lost to the natural disaster.

The vehicle was purchased on state contract and was bought for the lowest price possible, Callendar noted.

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