Contract change bypasses business

The Iberia Parish Council voted 9-3 Wednesday to pass a resolution altering its contract with garbage collection company IESI so the parish saves more than $115,000 over four years.

As part of the resolution, the council also changed the waste transfer station company from a locally owned facility run by parish resident Gordon Doyle to a facility that IESI owns in Lafayette Parish.

A transfer station is where garbage trucks go after they collect waste from houses. The trucks then put their loads into another truck and the loads are taken to another location, which is sometimes a landfill.

Council members Troy Comeaux, Thomas Landry, Curtis Baudoin, Ricky J. Gonsoulin, Glenn Romero, Aquicline Arnold, David Wayne Romero, Roger Duncan, and Marty Trahan voted for the resolution to change the contract. Council members Maggie Daniels, Lloyd Brown and Bernard Broussard voted against the contract changes. Jerome Fitch and David Ditch were absent.

Doyle walked out of the meeting after the vote. He told the council he would have to lay off workers if the change in contract takes place.

Duncan said should any layoffs take place, IESI staff members have said they would hire the out-of-work employees as the workload will increase.

He said further savings may come as IESI has said it would extend the savings over a nine-year period if its contract is extended another five years.

Other items discussed during the meeting included:

ANIMAL SHELTER: The council voted 9-3 in favor of authorizing the creation of a full-time rabies control/animal shelter manager.

Council members Comeaux, Landry, Baudoin, Gonsoulin, Glenn Romero, Arnold, David Wayne Romero, Duncan and Trahan voted for the resolution to create the position.

Council members Daniels, Brown and Broussard voted against creating the position. Fitch and Ditch were absent.

Michael Stockstill works as a consultant who runs the rabies program and animal shelter. His contract ends in January.

Stockstill has been criticized for conditions at the animal shelter at past council meetings.

Duncan said the new position should address complaints about the shelter and maybe improve the rabies program.

CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER: The council voted 7-5 against hiring Ricky Verret as the parish chief administrative officer.

Council members Comeaux, Landry, Glenn Romero, Arnold, David Wayne Romero, Duncan and Trahan voted for the resolution to create the position. Council members Baudoin, Gonsoulin, Daniels, Brown and Broussard voted against creating the position. Fitch and Ditch were absent.

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal said the parish needs to move forward and the council needs to hire a new CAO so operations can run more smoothly.

The parish voted against Verret’s nomination at the Oct. 14 council meeting. No council member commented on Wednesday’s vote.