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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Parish proposes report exchange with council

Parish proposes report exchange with council

The Lafourche Parish government is proposing an exchange of financial and legislative audit reports prior to Parish Council meetings.

Accounting Manager Carrel Hymel presented the quarterly financial report to the Parish Council April 23, detailing the ending revenues for 2018 and some of the first quarter collections for 2019.

When Hymel finished his presentation, Councilwoman Luci Sposito asked that in the future all reports be sent electronically to the council before the meeting, so members have time to review them and ask questions.

The report is currently presented as a hard copy to the council at the beginning of the meeting.

“I’ll send it electronically ahead of time as well,” Hymel told Sposito and the rest of the council Tuesday.

However, when Hymel emailed his report to the council Wednesday morning, he said the administration has decided not to supply the report ahead of time, until the council’s legislative auditor agrees to submit his report prior to the meeting.

“After discussing this request with the President he ask that I do not supply the report in advance. I strongly agree with this decision,” the email states. “I find this unfair to request this report ahead of the meeting, although I think it would make for a better discussion, when the Legislative Auditor does not supply Administration with his report ahead of the meetings.”

Council Chairman Noonie Autin said the administration has never asked the council to provide the auditor’s report before a meeting.

“This should not be a big deal to turn into an email like this,” Autin said, calling the debate “kindergarten politics.”

Autin said he would work with the legislative auditor, Reggie Bagala, to provide the report prior to his presentation.

“I don’t see a problem providing it,” he said. “But I don’t like the ‘I’ll give you this if you give me that.’ We should be more professional than this.”

“Finance supplying the report prior to the meeting would allow council to formulate questions or even rebut the report presented. Administration and Finance feels we should also have the opportunity to review Legislative Auditors report prior to the presentation for the same reasons. Once Legislative Auditor supplies Administration with their report prior to meeting, Administration will consider doing the same with the Quarterly Finance Report,” the email states.

Bagala’s report Tuesday included comments that he completed reviewing all of the purchase orders for 2018 and began reviewing those for this year. He also reported that the parish’s community service calendar listed no events, and that finance and public works reports have not been updated since 2016 and 2017.


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