Wahlschein - Kritik

A Vidalia alderman complained to the Concordia Parish Police Jury Monday night that Registrar of Voters Golda Ensminger tried to defeat him during the recent municipal election.

Prior to the Jury’s regular meeting, District 2 Alderman Robert Gardner made several allegations against the registrar in a letter to jurors before reading the letter aloud to jurors Monday night.

The Jury did not invite Ensminger to attend the meeting.

Gardner said Ensminger was uncooperative in assisting him in registering voters during the election period and said she complained that he was taking up too much of her time. He also said she addressed him “with a nasty tone” and insulted voters.

He said he was sensitive to the treatment because of the history of problems involving African Americans’ right to vote.

Gardner said he “got about five felony convicted citizens registered to vote again,” and alleged that Ensminger “gave these people a hard time by not asking them for the proper documentation to make them eligible to vote. I literally had to walk each person in to make sure of the completion.”

He said he was exposed to Covid-19 and quarantined for 14 days before receiving a release from a doctor. He accused Ensminger of telling others that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and complained about him to the Vidalia mayor, sheriff and Homeland Security director.

Gardner accused Ensminger of trying to defeat him during the election.

Juror Willie Bill Yearby told Gardner he heard him “loud and clear.”

Jury President Joe Parker said the Jury would look further into the matter.

Other jurors did not comment.

In other action, Jury Secretary Sandi Burley said the Jury has experienced a decrease in revenue of 2.5 percent and increase in expenses of 2.5 percent during the present fiscal year.

She said Covid issues have increased the Jury’s costs as well.

Ad valorem, sales and severance taxes are all down, Burley said, noting that severance taxes fell 37 percent last year and continue to fall this year.

Occupational licenses, meanwhile, remain steady.

On her recommendation, the Jury voted to amend the budget by moving $100,000 out of surplus into the road fund to purchase more material.

She also said the solid waste fund would need a transfer from cash reserves at some point, adding that bulk pickup expenses during the first quarter amounted to $20,000.

In other business, the Jury accepted the resignation of James Cole from the Lake Concordia Advisory Committee and appointed Jonathan Petty in his place.

Jurors also approved an occupational license for DG Louisiana, Dollar General, 5342 Hwy 84, Vidalia.

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