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Wednesday, November 14, 2018



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Lafourche School Board cuts members’ internet, rejects mileage cut

Lafourche School Board cuts members’ internet, rejects mileage cut

The Lafourche Parish School Board last week rejected a measure to cut its members’ mileage reimbursements but agreed to cut their internet and technology reimbursements.

Board member Julie Breaux said her proposal to cut mileages to and from meetings was a cost-saving measure.

But Lafourche resident Barry Plaisance said that would be unfair to some board members.

“You got people who come from down the bayou a very long way,” he said. “You’re really asking them to sit here for free? How are you going to continue to keep good people here? At this point you’re going to have to pay them.”

Board member Calvin Duet agreed.

“We have four people who drive from down the bayou and I have to drive 100 miles,” he said. “We took it upon ourselves to carpool. By carpooling, we save the district $75 to $100 per meeting.”

The measure, which would have affected the new School Board members elected in November, failed by a 7-6 vote.

For: Al Archer, Raymond Toups, Julie Breaux, Gary Foret, Donald Johnson and Dennis Chiasson.

Against: Brooke Huddleston, Marian Fertitta, Mary Breaud, Gregg Stall, Clyde Duplantis, Ray Bernard and Calvin Duet.

The cutting of board members’ internet and technology reimbursements takes effect when the next School Board takes office on Jan. 1.

“This is like closing the barn after all the horses have gotten out,” said Al Carter, who is running for the School Board District 3 seat. “If you eliminate the stipend, eliminate it now. This is getting a little bit petty with putting all of this on the new board.”

Carter said he believes the board members should forfeit their school district retirement and health insurance but not the mileage pay.

The board also approved advertising for bids to construct a new building for Bayou Blue Elementary School, re-roofing one of the school’s buildings and making repairs to the bus-loading canopy area at W.S. Lafargue Elementary School.

Board members also approved a motion to begin the process for installing playground equipment at Lockport Upper, Golden Meadow Upper and South Larose, Bayou Boeuf, Bayou Blue, Chackbay and Galliano elementary schools, using money and sponsorship through Thibodaux Regional Medical Center.

“We have to thank Thibodaux Regional for helping our students,” said schools Superintendent Jo Ann Matthews. “They are truly invested in our students.”

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Scott McLendon can be reached at 857-2204 or smclendon@houmatoday.com. Follow on Twitter @mclendon_b