Cost cutting measures were again discussed but no action taken at the first regular meeting of 2020 for the Clayton Board of Aldermen Tuesday night.

Salary cuts for future elected officials dominated the talks with mention of a reduction in town clerk pay but was quickly shutdown by aldermen.

“Lowering elected official’s salary would free up funds to help pay back some loans,” said Alderman Wilbert Washington. “We’re all in this together. We all need to take a hit.”

Alderman Willie Evans, who was in agreement with the elected official’s salary cuts, said the town clerk should not be reduced.

“I don’t think the clerk’s salary should be touched, but our salary should,” Evans said. “Her salary is her livelihood.”

Mayor Joseph Washington’s opinion of the clerk salary cut contradicted alderman’s opinion.

“I don’t agree with that,” Washington said. “We said everybody’s salary should be cut.”

Aldermen agreed to table the matter when questions arose if they had the authority to reduce the Chief of Police’s salary.

Aldermen set the compensation of the mayor, aldermen, clerk, chief of police and all other municipal officers, according to Louisiana law.

Alderman may pass an ordinance to increase or decrease their compensation or any nonelected municipal officer. However, the board of aldermen cannot reduce the compensation of any elected official during the term for which he is elected but can set salaries for the next term.

According to the town’s 2017 audit, Mayor Josephine Washington was paid $25,200 and $870 in reimbursements while aldermen Shannon Madison, Floyd L. Barter, Houston Holmes and Irene Jefferson were each paid $3,900. Alderman Willie Evans was paid $1,800.

Qualifying for Clayton mayor, alderman and chief of police are scheduled to begin this week.

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