The Ferriday Town Council declined to hire Interim Police Chief Herman Curry as the permanent chief during its regular meeting Tuesday at Ferriday Hall.
Alderman Elijah Banks made the motion to vote on hiring Curry after Ferriday Mayor Rydell Turner recommended Curry for the police chief post.
Margaret Lawrence served as interim chief until November 24 after Turner took office in August.
Alderwoman Brandi Bacon seconded Banks’ motion.
In a roll call vote Banks and Gail Pryor voted to hire Curry but Andre Keys, Gloria Lloyd and Bacon, the alderwoman who had seconded the motion, voted against.
A discussion followed on whether Bacon could vote against a motion she seconded.
Turner announced that Curry was named chief by a 3-2 vote, which was followed by applause from the audience.
But Keys told Turner the vote was 3-2 against Curry.
Bacon said she was new and was unaware of the voting process, adding she was voting on considering Curry for the job not on actually hiring him.
Town attorney Philip Letard said he never faced such a situation but said he felt Bacon could not vote “no”.
Bacon stepped outside to make a call and returned saying she had talked to an attorney who said she did was correct in what she did.
Letard repeated he had never faced anything like this before and that the opinion of Bacon’s attorney might be right.
Letard said he was concerned about the process getting snarled down in legal action and also felt the board owed it to Curry to decide.
"The man needs to know where he stands," Letard said.
Banks then repeated his motion to hire Curry, but it died for the lack of a second.
"I think Interim Chief Curry has done a good job taking on this daunting task and my recommendation from here on out if for him to be police chief,” Banks said. “I think we are headed down a road we shouldn't be headed down. Chief Curry will remain interim until we find someone else."
The board also discussed appointing a planning and zoning committee.
Turner said business leader Clint Vegas, who has assisted with projects in the past for no charge, volunteered some names: Glenn Henderson, Justin Conner, Banks and Anna Brakenridge.
Lloyd said the board has always appointed its own committees.
Board members suggested Charles Bell, Larry McKinney, Banks and Henderson.
Those names were taken under advisement.
Banks also asked about extending the city limits of Ferriday past Cocodrie Bayou to Trinity Medical Center on the side opposite Camelot, and taking in Lincoln Street apartments on the north side.
Letard said he will write a letter to planner Oliver Schultz.
Banks also requested help from the Police Jury to use their side boom tractor to clean up his district -- District B -- from 10th Street to Virginia Avenue. He said he would request payment for fuel and hourly wages for employees.
Lloyd said all the taxpayers should be included and that the side boom tractor should be used for the entire town.
Banks said he was just taking care of his district and that Lloyd should take care of her own.
Turner said if the town is able to get use of the side boom tractor, the whole town should be involved.
"If we can't do it all, we do not need to do any," Lloyd said.
No vote was made on the request.
Town of Ferriday Tax Clerk DeBorah Elaine Jones asked the board to re-instate a $100 non-refundable fee for use of Ferriday Hall and Haney's. Jones said bids will soon go out for kitchen equipment for Ferriday Hall after grant money was received for that equipment.
Jones also said construction will begin this week on the new Dollar General being built on Louisiana Avenue near the former Hicks-Chicks building.
Aldermen approved rezoning two lots the Dollar General will be built on from residential to commercial.
Ferriday Chief Administrative Officer Emerson Slain said that State Representative Travis Johnson announced the Madam CJ Walker Louisiana Juneteenth Celebration will take place June 18-21, 2021 and will be a two-day festival of concerts in northeast Louisiana.
Johnson said in letter to the Town of Ferriday the Juneteenth planning committee said it would be honored if Ferriday could host the Juneteenth parade.
The parade route would be from Ferriday High School, east on E.E. Wallace Blvd, left on Louisiana Avenue and back to Ferriday High.
The town also designated fireworks for the Christmas holidays from December 19 to January 2, 2021 up until 1 a.m.
Occupational licenses were approved for Banks Janitorial Services and Fuel Trac.