In question was whether the mayor and outgoing council were within their power to appoint a city attorney, city treasurer, council clerk and city auditor which they did at the June 26 meeting.
“The actions of the mayor and council as to appointments on June 26, 2012, were consistent with the City of Baker’s Home Rule Charter, which authorizes the mayor to make appointments of city attorney and city treasurer subject to concurrence of the council and the authority of the council to make appointments of city clerk and city auditor,” wrote Assistant Attorney General William P. Bryan III.
Vincent insisted the council meet in executive session concerning these “personnel matters,” even though the state Open-Meetings Law forbids such action.
James Minton, of the Advocate’s Baker-Zachary bureau, rose from the audience and explained they could not discuss “personnel matters,” but could discuss professional competence and physical or mental health, among other issues.
Persons under consideration had to be notified in writing 24 hours before the meeting and they could require an open meeting.
“You are not even close” to obeying the Open-Meetings Law, Minton told the council.
Nevertheless, council members Joyce Burges, John Givens and Robert Young joined Vincent outside the council chamber. Mayor Harold Rideau objected but joined them and Councilman Pete Heine, who voted against the executive session, refused to attend, saying the council was inviting a lawsuit from The Advocate.
When the council members returned, they concurred with the mayor’s appointment of Ken Fabre as city attorney and Monese Scott as city treasurer.
They authorized Angela Canady to remain as council clerk at least until Dec. 31 and CPA Mary Sue Stages, as city auditor for the 2011-2012 fiscal year with her report due by Dec. 31.
The council then may seek applications for these positions to take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
The contract for Jean Byers, coordinator of programs, projects and events, was approved for renewal so she or the council could terminate it with 30 days’ notice.
Rideau is accepting resumes and. applications for the position of city prosecutor, vacated by Fabre when he became city attorney.