Mayor Jamie Mayo.JPG

Several people supporting a recall of Richwood Mayor Gerald Brown Sr. cited former Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo serving as the town’s consultant among their concerns about Richwood’s future.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation Aug. 17 calling a special election on Nov. 13 to allow Richwood voters to decide whether Brown should be recalled. Of the 1,142 voters in Richwood, 462 voters signed the petition.

The Richwood Board of Aldermen voted Jan. 21 to hire M5 Consulting as the town’s consultant, and M5 Consulting would be paid $15,000 over 12 months, according to Brown and other town officials.

Mayo and his wife, Angela, are officers of M5 Consulting, Secretary of State records show. Mayo’s consulting outfit was registered with the state on July 28, 2020, a week after local businessman Friday Ellis was sworn in as mayor of Monroe. Ellis defeated Mayo in the July 2020 mayoral election in Monroe.

Alderman Wysinger Cleveland and Alderwoman Leola Keys told The Ouachita Citizen they agreed to retain Mayo’s consulting firm in spite of some concerns about what work Mayo would perform.

“Jamie is giving us input at a low cost of $15,000, though we were leery about bringing Jamie in because of the city of Monroe and things he was trying to accomplish there,” Cleveland said. “I didn’t see any need for it, but that’s what the mayor wanted. We were trying to work along with the mayor for Richwood.”

“I’m not saying Jamie’s not doing anything, but I haven’t seen any improvements,” Cleveland added.

Like Cleveland, Keys said she harbored no ill feelings toward Mayo but questioned whether Brown could be accomplishing the work expected of Mayo.

“I think what he’s doing is the job the mayor should be doing,” Keys said. “Mayor Brown should have hired a grant writer.”

Alderman Simeon Profit said he was confused why some aldermen would question hiring Mayo after voting in favor of the measure.

“They were in favor of having him because he’s a great asset to our community,” Profit said.

Brown echoed Profit’s puzzlement, claiming he did not have the ability to hire Mayo.

“I allowed him to come and make his presentation,” Brown said. “The Board of Aldermen voted to hire Jamie Mayo. I don’t have that power. I thought it was a good idea on their part.”

The Board of Aldermen, including Cleveland Keys, voted in favor of Mayo’s hiring on Jan. 21. Alderman Wilbert Reed Jr. abstained from the vote. A special meeting was called on Jan. 28 to discuss Mayo’s contract but no action was taken, according to Brown.

“The mayor was 100 percent for hiring Mayo, and we have tried to work with the mayor,” Keys said. “We have tried to cooperate as much as possible. We have given Mayor Brown almost everything that he wanted.”

Brown thanked Mayo for agreeing to set his consulting fee at $15,000.

“That’s a lot lower than most consultants, who charge a lot more,” Brown said.

According to Brown, Mayo was instrumental in obtaining a $2,500 grant to improve a park within the town’s corporate limits. Mayo also helped the town secure a traffic signal at U.S. Hwy 165 and Richwood Road No. 1.

“I’ve been trying to get that done from day one of my term, but that’s going to happen in the next month and that’s because of our alliance with Mayor Mayo and his connections,” Brown said. “Why are we disgruntled about that?”

Richwood pays Mayo

$15k to consult

Several people supporting a recall of Richwood Mayor Gerald Brown Sr. cited former Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo serving as the town’s consultant among their concerns about Richwood’s future.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation Aug. 17 calling a special election on Nov. 13 to allow Richwood voters to decide whether Brown should be recalled. Of the 1,142 voters in Richwood, 462 voters signed the petition.

The Richwood Board of Aldermen voted Jan. 21 to hire M5 Consulting as the town’s consultant, and M5 Consulting would be paid $15,000 over 12 months, according to Brown and other town officials.

Mayo and his wife, Angela, are officers of M5 Consulting, Secretary of State records show. Mayo’s consulting outfit was registered with the state on July 28, 2020, a week after local businessman Friday Ellis was sworn in as mayor of Monroe. Ellis defeated Mayo in the July 2020 mayoral election in Monroe.

Alderman Wysinger Cleveland and Alderwoman Leola Keys told The Ouachita Citizen they agreed to retain Mayo’s consulting firm in spite of some concerns about what work Mayo would perform.

“Jamie is giving us input at a low cost of $15,000, though we were leery about bringing Jamie in because of the city of Monroe and things he was trying to accomplish there,” Cleveland said. “I didn’t see any need for it, but that’s what the mayor wanted. We were trying to work along with the mayor for Richwood.”

“I’m not saying Jamie’s not doing anything, but I haven’t seen any improvements,” Cleveland added.

Like Cleveland, Keys said she harbored no ill feelings toward Mayo but questioned whether Brown could be accomplishing the work expected of Mayo.

“I think what he’s doing is the job the mayor should be doing,” Keys said. “Mayor Brown should have hired a grant writer.”

Alderman Simeon Profit said he was confused why some aldermen would question hiring Mayo after voting in favor of the measure.

“They were in favor of having him because he’s a great asset to our community,” Profit said.

Brown echoed Profit’s puzzlement, claiming he did not have the ability to hire Mayo.

“I allowed him to come and make his presentation,” Brown said. “The Board of Aldermen voted to hire Jamie Mayo. I don’t have that power. I thought it was a good idea on their part.”

The Board of Aldermen, including Cleveland Keys, voted in favor of Mayo’s hiring on Jan. 21. Alderman Wilbert Reed Jr. abstained from the vote. A special meeting was called called on Jan. 28 to discuss Mayo’s contract but no action was taken, according to Brown.

“The mayor was 100 percent for hiring Mayo, and we have tried to work with the mayor,” Keys said. “We have tried to cooperate as much as possible. We have given Mayor Brown almost everything that he wanted.”

Brown thanked Mayo for agreeing to set his consulting fee at $15,000.

“That’s a lot lower than most consultants, who charge a lot more,” Brown said.

According to Brown, Mayo was instrumental in obtaining a $2,500 grant to improve a park within the town’s corporate limits. Mayo also helped the town secure a traffic signal at U.S. Hwy 165 and Richwood Road No. 1.

“I’ve been trying to get that done from day one of my term, but that’s going to happen in the next month and that’s because of our alliance with Mayor Mayo and his connections,” Brown said. “Why are we disgruntled about that?”

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