UPDATE: On Monday, January 10, 2022, we reported that the City of Grambling was approaching its final deadline to adopt a 2022 budget for the city. Today, January 11, 2022, Mayor Ed Jones says the final deadline without consequences for the city and its council members was on Jan. 6.
Mayor Jones says when he took office in 2011, he was left with a $892,000 deficit from the previous mayor with 32 findings. Jones says in 2019, the city was removed from the deficit list with zero findings.
Three meetings have been held since November of 2021 with the budget on the agenda. Jones says each time Councilwoman Miller moved for the adoption of the 2022 budget ordinance, none of the other members of the council would second the motion.
“I was met with silence in each meeting. None of the council members would explain what they did not agree with or like about the budget so that it could be discussed. The budget presented to them was an exact replica of the revised 2021 budget that was approved by the same council. I’ve done my part. They just would not pass it”, said Jones.
“The proposed budget must be completed and submitted to the City Council and be available for public inspection no later than fifteen days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. La. R.S. 39:1306(A). After submitting the proposed budget to the City Council, the City was required to publish a notice stating the budget was available for public inspection at least ten days prior to the public hearing which is required prior to adoption of the budget. La. R.S. 39:1307. Mayor Jones complied with all portions of the LGBA applicable to him in November, 2021.”City of Grambling Attorney Pamela Breedlove
At this point, the City of Grambling is facing many consequences by not complying with the LGBA (Local Government Budget Act). Mayor Jones says they are at risk of only being able to operate on 50% of the budget, layoffs of city workers, salary reductions and now the city has to use funds to seek council file a court order to get the proposed budget approved.
In a letter from the city’s attorney Pamela Breedlove that was sent to the mayor and council members last week, it outlines the consequences of not adopting a budget which includes council members may be charged with malfeasance in office.
“It makes no sense to have four council members who won’t express concerns about the budget and they had many opportunities to do so”, said Jones.
This story is developing. We will continue to follow this story and keep you updated on-air and online.
GRAMBLING, La. (KTVE/KARD)— Time is running out for the City of Grambling to adopt the city’s budget required by law. Since November, council members have met three times with the budget on the agenda, but it still has not been motioned to pass.
According to a letter addressed to Mayor Ed Jones and the city’s council members from the City’s attorney Pamela Breedlove, members must adopt a budget before the end of Thursday’s meeting or they will be at risk of losing government funding among other consequences.
Before outlining the consequences of not adopting the budget, the letter reads: “It is because of dire consequences of the failure to adopt a budget that the law imposes serious consequences on the mayor and council for failing to comply with the LGBA (Local Government Budget Act)”.
It is unclear where the discrepency is in the budget as to why it has not passed yet.
Councilman Toby Bryan says, “the city is working to resolve the issue and this issue will be resolved”. He also says it is safe to say the City of Grambling will not be at risk of losing in funding provided by the government.
We will continue to follow this story and keep you updated with the latest.