Photograph: St. Landry Parish Council member Mildred Thierry discuss raises for the Council clerks during the Wednesday night meeting. (Photograph by Bobby Ardoin)
It took nearly five months of discussion both publicly and privately, but it appears the St. Landry Parish Council is prepared to provide raises for both Council clerks.
The proposed pay increases of two dollars and hour was approved unanimously on Wednesday night by a Council Finance Committee.
Final consideration to raise the pay of clerks Sherell Jordan and Karen Barlow will occur when the Council meets later this month during a regular monthly meeting.
Committee member Mildred Thierry said on Wednesday that it is time for the Council to take action on the raise proposals for both clerks.
Council member Vivian Olivier, who in April initially proposed raises for the clerks, said both women perform a number of different tasks for Council members. Olivier said the quality and quantity of work that each clerk does for the Council makes it almost a necessity to provide raises.
Thierry followed up on what Olivier said about granting the raises during the Wednesday committee meeting.
“It is time for this to come to a conclusion. Our clerks go above and beyond the call of duty. Whatever we can give to them, I want to stand behind it,” Thierry said.
Thierry provided the Committee with a timeline for the raise proposal discussions.
According to Thierry, the Council began discussing raises for the clerks on April 6. Thierry referred to four other times that the Council referred to raises for the clerks since April without taking any action.
One previous proposal discussed by the Council was to provide each clerk with a 25-cent-per-hour raise.
On Wednesday night Olivier said a 25-cent increase was almost an insult.
Council member Timothy LeJeune proposed the two-dollar increase, a proposal that committee members agreed to without any debate.
Council member Wayne Ardoin asked parish president Jessie Bellard whether there is money in the Council budget to give the raises.
Bellard said funding for the proposed increases are already in the budget.
A general fund budget statement for revenues and expenditures ending July 31, indicates that $68,820 was budgeted in 2023 for Council clerks.
Bellard told the Committee that his administration plans to submit a 2024 budget for review by Oct. 1.