Access to scanned records settles dispute between Livingston Parish president, council

The Livingston Parish Council gained access Thrusday to scanned images of the parish administration’s financial records, settling a months-long dispute between the council and Parish President Layton Ricks.

Councilman Jim Norred, who had sponsored an ordinance to force access to the records, said Thursday the council has the software and login necessary for accessing copies of contracts, check registers and signed checks.

No personnel records, such as health insurance or disciplinary information, will be accessible to the council, Norred said.

The image-keeping software, known as Laserfiche, has been installed on one computer in the Council Clerk’s Office, and council Chairman Ricky Goff has one login ID and a password for the council members and their staff’s use, Norred said.

The council tabled Norred’s ordinance Thursday night, in light of the agreement.

Asked if he was satisfied with the arrangement, Norred said, “Ask me again in a week.”

The council will revive the ordinance if the access turns out to be less than promised, Norred said.

In another matter, three candidates for Louisiana’s congressional 6th District made their pitches Thursday for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards pledged to keep an open phone line for parish leaders. Edwards said Livingston is important to him both politically and personally, noting the parish is the “second-most vote-heavy” parish in the district and is also home to his two daughters and their families.

Business owner Paul Dietzel II said he believes the people of Livingston deserve someone who will tirelessly work for them in Washington, D.C.

Livingston resident and candidate Norman Clark emphasized his five years of experience in the U.S. Navy and 13 years with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.