Elected officials go back and forth over vacant Monroe Council seat

Local Politics

MONROE, LA (01/15/20)– The Monroe City Council District 1 Seat has become the talk of City Hall. Since previous District 1 Councilman, Michael Echols, left his term early, City Council will have to appoint an interim. Douglas Harvey was the only one who qualified for the District 1 seat, therefore he will be sworn in July 1st.

“I was running unopposed so he [Echols] made the recommendation. Ultimately, that makes the most sense in my mind. There is this open spot and they have someone who has won the election for that spot,” said Doug Harvey, Councilman Elect District 1.

However, after talking with Councilwoman Juanita Woods, Harvey says it sounds like he won’t be the interim. Woods said she was worried about his budget experience and experience in the role.

“To which my counter to that was, look I’m responsible for a manufacturing site that currently has a budget larger, substantially larger actually, than the city of Monroe. So I don’t think there are truly budget concerns,” said Havey.

After Echols heard this news he posted a video on Facebook. Echols said Harvey won the election and this act is disgusting as it plays into the political plans Mayor Mayo has.

“The disappointment with the Mayor playing politics is once again another example of bad leadership and another bad decision. We need to elect a better leader. People with vision and future. People who can serve this community with their heart and soul,” said Micheal Echols, State Representative District 14.

Mayor Mayo responded back saying he has nothing to do with who the council appoints as interim. In addition, saying he will work with anyone.

“Mr. Echols knows that the Mayor of the City of Monroe does not have a vote. He knows that. He is deceiving the public to make them think that it’s this political deal where I am making decisions for the council,” said Jamie Mayo, Monroe Mayor.

Whether Harvey takes the seat in February or in July, he’s keeping his promise.

“The reason why I took this position is because I want to serve this community. That’s going to happen regardless of whether or not I’m appointed for the interim,” said Harvey.

The Monroe City Council has not made an official decision on who will be taking the interim District 1 Seat.

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