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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Lafourche council overturns budget vetoes

Lafourche council overturns budget vetoes

The Lafourche Parish Council went through more than 200 budget amendments Monday that Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle vetoed last week and overturned the majority of them.

After almost three hours, the council overturned every veto that wasn’t of an amendment that turned out being incorrect when it came down to the math of each lateral transfer. While there were some hiccups that arose and worry from administration as to whether the budget was balanced, council members maintained that it would be as they only did lateral transfers of money.

“Everything should be balanced. We only transferred money laterally, so it’ll balance out,” Councilman Jerry Lafont said. “What I want to know is why (Cantrelle) vetoed some of his own amendments. He even vetoed his own amendments to fix the salaries of his own people.”

At the start of the meeting, Cantrelle and most of his administration were present along with all council members except Michael Gros who was unable to attend because of work.

However, by the end of the night, Councilmen James Bourgeois and Daniel Lorraine, who were the only dissenting voices, left to attend the LA Safe event next door and Parish Administrator Leif Haas, Department of Public Works Director Jim Barnes and Finance Director Carrel Hymel were all that remained.

“Our parish should take its money seriously and we should all be here debating it, whether you’re for things or not, and I think it’s unfortunate that some people chose not to be here,” Councilman Armand Autin said. “I want to thank everyone who’s still here because it’s unfortunate there’s such an empty room here.”

After the meeting, Haas said administration would look over the amendments and try to make everything in the budget work.

“This is the process outlined in the Home Rule Charter. They’re job is to look over the budget and put money where they think it should go. As long as we can remain civil about things, we may not agree, but we can try to work through things. Once this is all said and done and we see where everything falls we just have to go out and execute what we can,” Haas said.

-- Staff Writer Dan Boudreaux can be reached at 857-2204 or Follow him on Twitter @dan_boudreaux.