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Sunday, September 22, 2019



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Council hires new HR director

Council hires new HR director

Lafourche Parish has a new human resources director, but the search continues for a parish administrator.

The Parish Council unanimously approved the appointment of Trisha McElroy as director of Human Resources Tuesday night at an annual salary of $60,000 plus benefits.

McElroy has several years of human resource experience with The Medical Team, Inc. in Houma and the Children’s Rescue Fund in New York and various management experience.

She replaces former human resource director Emily Knight who resigned in June, just two days after parish administrator Tim Vedros submitted his resignation. Her interim replacement also resigned after less than two weeks on the job.

The council approved McElroy’s appointment without any discussion.

The parish interim administrator, however, has also resigned. Just seconds before the council was going to enter into a closed session to discuss his removal, Tommy Lasseinge announced he resigned from the interim position effective 4:59 p.m.

Councilman Jerry Jones pulled agenda items about Lasseigne’s removal, but Councilman Jerry Lafont raised concerns that Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle could turn around and re-appoint Lasseigne tomorrow.

The council had some discussion about whether they could go ahead and remove Lasseigne despite the resignation.

“Well what’s the difference, they’ve been playing games for four years? Might as well finish it off,” Councliman Daniel Lorraine said.

Lafont questioned Lasseigne’s role at the meeting several times, asking why Lasseigne was still answering questions on behalf of the administration if he resigned.

“I can appoint anyone I want up here to answer questions,” Cantrelle said.

In a phone interview Monday, Cantrelle said he hadn’t found anyone to nominate for the permanent post.

With about five months left in his administration, Cantrelle said he wasn’t confident he would find someone to take the job.

The parish ran advertisements for the open position, but Cantrelle said there was only one applicant and he didn’t nearly meet the qualifications.

Cantrelle said the parish is advertising the position. It’s currently posted on the parish website. Applications are scheduled to remain open until Aug. 30.

The council also ratified an executive order, granting parish employees who worked during Hurricane Barry emergency pay at two and a half times the rate of their normal pay.

Lasseigne said all employees have now been paid the full amount.

Parish public works employees appealed to the parish last month, demanding the higher pay after falling into a policy loophole that says emergency pay only applies when parish offices are forced to be closed. Because the storm came on a weekend, parish offices were already closed according to normal operating hours.

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.