City Council Minutes - August 24, 2021

Monroe City Council Legal and Regular Session
August 24, 2021
6:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers-City Hall

There was a legal and regular session of the City Council of the City of Monroe, Louisiana held this date, August 24, 2021, at the Council's regular meeting place, 400 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, City Council Chambers/City Hall Building, Monroe, Louisiana.    


The Honorable Carday Marshall, Sr., Chairman, called the meeting to order.


The roll call was done by Ms. Carolus Riley, Council Clerk.


Council members present for roll call: Mr. Douglas Harvey, Mrs. Gretchen Ezernack, Ms. Juanita Woods, Mr. Carday Marshall, Sr., Mrs. Kema Dawson.


Council member (s) absent: None


Chairman Marshall declared a quorum. 


The Invocation was done by Miss Eden Marshall, daughter of Councilman Carday Marshall, Sr.,  and the Pledge of Allegiance by Mr. Marshall. 





1.  Mr. Harvey welcomed each one present. He asked that Mrs. Connie Sampognaro would come forward. Mrs. Sampognaro presented Covid information to each Council member and also spoke on protocols to help boost the immune system.


2.  Mrs. Ezernack welcomed each one present and thanked them for attending. She thanked Mrs. Sampognaro for the information on Covid and asked if there was a website where people could go to and get the information.  She thanked Councilman Marshall’s daughter for her inspiring invocation, she did a great job.


3.  Ms. Woods welcomed and thanked everyone for coming out; she thanked Eden Marshall for an inspiring prayer.  She recognized La. Senator Katrina Jackson, La. State Representative Pat Moore, and Ouachita Parish Police Juror Michael Thompson for being present. She acknowledged the outstanding work of Chief Code Enforcement officer Tommy James; he has checked on the constituent’s concerns and he’s following up with them.  She will be starting some neighborhood round table conversations and the first one will be at the Powell Street recreation center, along with Marbles recreation center and will hear the concerns of constituents to see what is working and what’s not.  She will be calling on different one’s from administration to be special guests to talk about special things.   MCAL, the youth sports football team  had a meeting that she attended, and they will be having their jamboree on September 4, 2021, at Carroll High School.  She thanked Council and Mayor Ellis for supporting MCAL’s efforts.   


4.  Mr. Marshall welcomed and thanked each one present; he thanked the elected officials for being present and thanked the city employees for all of their work, commitment, and efforts to the City under the extreme heat conditions outside. 


5.  Mrs. Dawson welcomed everyone and thanked Miss Eden Marshall for the invocation.


6.  Mayor Ellis welcomed each one present; he referenced the information Mrs. Sampognaro presented regarding Covid and asked that citizens would talk with their physicians and not on Facebook about options for their families  and how to beat Covid.  He said great information was presented tonight on ways to treat it and to help boost the immune system.  He thanked Mrs. Sampognaro for sharing the information.  Mayor Ellis commented there were 148 cases of covid related hospitalizations in Monroe, and 17 of the 148 were vaccinated; he encouraged families and to let them know that the Pfizer vaccination has received approval with FDA; he and his family chooses the vaccine, it’s ashamed that we have to lose so many people.  He had a good meeting in Baton Rouge with La DOTD’s, Secretary, Mr. Shawn Wilson about current projects that Monroe has going on in the City.  He acknowledged Councilman Marshal’s daughter doing the prayer.  He acknowledged the presence of La. Delegation at tonight’s meeting who have been working hard on projects in our region to grow economic development; the City had a very successful back to school supply drive, and this is something that the city and families, teachers look forward to each year. He recorded with Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser the staycation tourism and the wonderful things going on in our backyard and since travel is winding down there are things to do in our own backyard that can be enjoyed with our families.  Mayor Ellis had an interview with Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and spoke on things that the Administration has done and accomplished since being in office for one year, the challenges, successes.  He thanked Atmos for the $5,000 donation for the zoo’s budgie exhibit .  He presented a proclamation at Bayou Jamb’s kickoff.


Upon a motion of Mr. Harvey and a second by Mrs. Ezernack, the minutes of the Legal and Regular session of August 10, 2021, were unanimously approved. (There were no public comments).




Mrs. Sturdivant, City Attorney commented there were technical difficulties with the streaming of the Council meeting and to give it some time.  The meeting recessed  at 6:17  p.m. by a motion of Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey.  D.J. Fortenberry stated the meeting was being recorded, but it wasn’t streaming.  Chairman Marshall declared there was technical difficulties with the streaming, but that the meeting was still live on Channel 75.  The meeting resumed at 6:37 p.m.










Council:         Public Comment:


(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Ezernack and Voting: Yes: Harvey, Ezernack; Voting NO:  Dawson, Marshall, Woods to not adopt a resolution establishing purchasing and bidding procedures for the City of Monroe and further providing with respect thereto. (Harvey)


Chairman Marshall opened the floor for three comments and for three minutes each.  He asked if there were any elected officials present that wanted to speak on the agenda item.  Mr. Harvey stated the item needed to be adopted first before any public comments.  Mr. Harvey made motion and Mrs. Ezernack seconded the motion.  Mrs. Sturdivant commented that it was now time for any comments.  Mr. Marshall commented that his motion was to table the item, and not a motion to adopt and before doing that he wanted to have a few comments before the audience.  Mrs. Sturdivant said that you don’t open the public comment until there has been a motion and second and you only open the comment when you take a vote on the election.  Mrs. Riley commented there has to be a motion and second to bring it for discussion.  Mr. Marshall commented there was a motion to bring it forward for discussion. Mrs. Ezernack stated she had comments before bringing it before the public for comments.


Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack asked that questions be clarified that some people may have had regarding what was included in the resolution; her understanding that this resolution as it is written would allow and open the door to use more of Monroe, La, registered DBE’s, rather than going through the bid process and being a sub-bidder, if there is a higher value, it would allow larger projects to go on; she commented another was that on the Council there have been experience in years past that there have been things that have come to them and they ask for permission to advertise and the project may have been sitting out for 10 days, two weeks, etc. and then it comes to council to advertise and it takes 45 days, once the bids have been gone through, then comes back to council again and the project may be 75-90 days down the road and it may cause the price to increase due to things needing to be taken care of a lot sooner and have seen this in the past, and there are some things that do need immediate attention.  Mrs. Ezernack commented there were concerns as to how the people would be notified or people to be the accepted bidder and asked if there was a plan.  Mrs. Sturdivant said the city has already started the process and have reached out to Kinetix, the company that handles our website and asked that they put a link on the city’s website and there will be a list of all the projects, the public works projects that the city wants quotes and bids on, and it will be constantly updated, an email blast, and will be very transparent, these will be for the certified  DBE list, not the state certified DBE list.  Mrs. Rowell explained the website would also have a link for businesses, vendors to register, so that databases can be built for their specific types of work they do, will tag vendors as DBE’s.  Mrs. Ezernack explained the use of videos that Council has and the possibility of that being used as public service announcements to get the word out to everyone.  Mrs. Rowell gave explanation as to the state guidelines. Mrs. Rowell explained the reason that the state raises the ceiling is to let them know where they have to stop doing in-house projects and the $250,000 ceiling is a cost saving measure. Mrs. Ezernack thanked her for the flowchart that was sent to Council.  Ms. Woods mentioned her concern of the flow chart and the bids being either a phone bid or written bid and who’s getting it on the phone, and her concern for the transparency.  Mrs. Rowell commented a form has to be completed and it has to go through a purchase order.

Ms. Woods said her concern is when it gets to be $250,000 and it’s being recorded; she commented that she was under the impression that the agenda item would be tabled until there was more conversation on the matter and didn’t know there would be a lot of serious conversation on it and acknowledged Senator Katrina Jackson and understands that she wants to have a conversation on the matter. 

Mrs. Dawson asked if there was consideration given for DBE goals and getting the person in place to see how it was before raising the number just in case it needs to stay the same. There have been questions made as to how the number is being changed from $30,000 to $250,000 and asked if there was a medium; she asked if there could be a community meeting to see everyone addressing their concerns for this matter before it is voted on from $30,000 to $250,000. 

Mrs. Sturdivant commented that the only change being made in the proposed policy is the public works contracts, increasing the limits from $30,000 to $250,000 public works contracts.  Mrs. Dawson commented there are questions that are of concern to many present tonight. Mrs. Sturdivant commented that the DBE facilitator doesn’t have anything to do with the purchasing policy.  Discussions on public works projects and the total number of projects and the total number of DBE’s that have bided on them were commented by legal; Ms. Woods asked if the outreach for bided jobs also being done statewide;   legal and administration said not only was it being done state wide, but also being done to the states nearest to our state, such as Alabama; the DBE facilitator will certify for city funded projects; Mayor Ellis gave example on his conversation with a Baton Rouge official and their DBE program and their city qualified DBE regulations. Ms. Woods thanked the Mayor for his comments, and she commented her concerns about change orders and for example the change orders coming from engineering, increase in time and money; there is still concern of going from $30,000 to $250,000, it’s too drastic.  Mayor Ellis gave examples of other municipalities and their limits and the outdated Monroe system in place since 1989 with there being only one change, and this is causing the city dollars.  Ms. Woods mentioned that Shreveport is at $10,000, and Alexandria $7,500 and concern is the jump from $30,000 to $250,000 and understand the policy needs to be updated, it’s antiquated, but shouldn’t put Monroe on the same level as the State of Louisiana, Baton Rouge or New Orleans.  Ms. Rowell said the State of Louisiana sets the bid law for all of the state to follow and do follow the state’s public bid law and it has nothing to do with what the state spends or what their budget is.  Mr. Marshall commented that the amount did need to increase, as it is outdated and gave an example of the civic center repairs; the concern for most people is the amount of increase.  Ms. Woods commented to agree on an amount and her suggestion was starting at $75,000 and revisiting an additional amount at another time, but not $250,000 all at once.

Mayor Ellis explained that going from $30,000 to fifty or seventy five, that it doesn’t change the tide when compared to having to do public works work, still at the same process.  Mrs. Ezernack  referenced Ms. Woods point of why start at $75,000 and go up, but start at $250,000 and go down and if doesn’t work then go in at this manner; she commented on information being sent out and their being limits on the telephone; her concern of the forty five to ninety days and constituents calling to ask why certain things haven’t been fixed and it not being fixed due to it still being in the bid process; need to come into the 2021 era and help the constituents and if it doesn’t work then take a step back, and the reports in place then would know if it’s working or not. 

Mr. Harvey said controls are in place, but how does keeping the limit at $30,000 help anyone.  Mrs. Rowell commented if their process of writing down the quotes and having all the controls in place is not good enough at $30,000 then it won’t be good enough at $250,000; the city has never had an audit finding on it and fraud is fraud at $30,000 or $250,000 and said if someone says they aren’t doing it right at $30,000; Ms. Woods said she didn’t say they weren’t but said they may not be doing it right at $30,000. 


Ms. Katrina Jackson, La. State Senator commented that the State’s intent is to make sure that the Cities remain compliant with the public bid laws; they moved it up to $250,000 because there are Cities with larger budgets and it may have to move up, it was never a requirement or the state’s intent or thought pattern that every city would move up to $250,000; she commented that both Baton Rouge and New Orleans have city budgets over two billion dollar budgets  and they have $250,000 and these are the two Cities they would strongly consider; the city of Shreveport has a $200 something million dollar budget and theirs is at $10,000 and they are at 30 per cent DBE participation; she said it hurts her for local staff to tell her that we aren’t getting bids; with Shreveport being an hour and half west of Monroe and they exceeded their DBE participation, not by moving up the bid process, but by having outreach to their DBE’s across the state and it can be done. She commented that she is pleased that Monroe is putting something in place along with Council for outreach and don’t want anyone to say that a DBE goal can’t be met because some other Cities are doing it and some are passing the goal, and they didn’t do it by raising their bid. She believes there should be some type of city public hearings on this matter before coming to city council.  Mayor Ellis commented that the city is reaching its DBE goals; Mrs. Sturdivant said the city met or exceeded every single DBE goal.  Mayor Ellis commented that he and the Council were elected to oversee the city’s budget at their discretion.  La. State Senator Jackson said the good thing about being a Senator is that she is still a constituent of the district and Mayor Ellis said as well as everyone sitting up here.  Senator Jackson said state intent from a Senator’s standpoint, constituency, advocacy, it is concerning; because one set of testimony from staff has said we just can’t get DBE’s to bid and then when DBE requirements are brought up, then said the DBE goals have been met; this is a big conflict when the numbers aren’t before them; there should be some type of meeting held in the community on this DBE subject; would agree with council members that there may be some level to get to and some type of report should be put out on how the DBE goals have been met for the last few years.  Senator Jackson commented that Ms. Sonya Jacobs has done a lot of economic development for them and she tracks DBE goals and numbers for them and it may be a constituent who they trust because she’s on the ground working for them and she sits on some on State for her in that area and works hard with the Treasurer when he brings in projects and grants to this area to make sure DBE is met and have far exceeded it in the northeast area when Mrs. Jacobs worked with the Treasurer to get it done within 30 days because he was concerned it wasn’t going to be met.  Senator Jackson asked about the city job and asked if it had been advertised; Mayor Ellis said it had not been filled, it hasn’t been advertised yet. Senator Jackson commented that was her concern in that if something is going to be done to help promote deb’s, but haven’t put in a plan for DBE’s, haven’t reviewed to the extent needed for DBE policy and don’t know how it will fit in or the person that is going to promote DBE’s; Mayor Ellis said they are following current plans that have been in place for over 20 years and they are strengthening them; the assumed intent that they are doing the wrong thing; Senator Jackson commented that she didn’t assume intent; Mayor Ellis said that it is bordering.  Senator Jackson said she understands that some people don’t like how she debates an issue, but she is not assuming intent, but is saying that she feels that the proper course of action, things should be put forth first before moving it up and wants to be clear so that no Council member believes that she is assuming intent; also said that a DBE policy should not be a part in partial of what is trying to be done, and it is important and offers a wide gap of opportunity in a 65 percent minority area, women and Veteran owned businesses struggling that there should be a conversation had on its own; not assuming intent but is giving her view as a constituent and as a Senator.  Senator Jackson commented that she doesn’t blame any council member or the Mayor, neither subject them to anything that was in place before they came, this DBE policy has been an issue well before they came into the picture, before they were elected and don’t attribute it to them; but is saying that since it is finally being addressed that DBE’s should be addressed in their own conversation, not as a lumped in agenda item and everything heard is lumping it in with an already adopted agenda item for discussion; it may not be the intent, but his is what’s happening in reality and do look forward to working with anyone of you guys to figure this out as a constituent and as a Senator; this was also put on the agenda last week and the press conference was done on yesterday and they have had conversations and have enjoyed the texts back and forth, but do have concerns about the state’s intent expressed tonight and do believe it has been cleared up; if it is moved to 250 it is within state law, and is it in line with other Cities that have 200 some million dollar budgets compared to our 60 some million dollars or 90, then it’s not.  The City of Shreveport has exceeded their DBE goal every year, last year it was at 30 percent.  She offered a suggestion to the elected officials to talk with the Shreveport officials on how they are doing their bid process because they have been very successful with DBE’s.


2.  State Representative Pat Moore, thanked Council for the opportunity to speak; her concerns are the concerns of the constituents of her district.  The concerns of the amount being increased from $30,000 to $250,000; she suggested that there is a need to go back to the community and talk about it, clearing up the information, gathering more information or seeing how things can be done.  She wants to make sure that the right things are done with fairness, and opportunity is what’s always to be strived for. 


Mrs. Sturdivant, Legal, commented that she wanted to clarify that a member of the administration stated that we couldn’t get DBE’s to bid on public works contracts; don’t know the reason for it, but do know that members of engineering would tell you that the state law requires a very onerous bonding capacity on public works projects, and doesn’t know if that’s the reason, but that’s the reason a lot of people believe we don’t have DBE’s; on the large public works projects, do wish that the bonding capacity requirement, but can’t because of state law.  She said Shreveport may reach their DBE goal and the city hopes to as well, and we do, but saying that they recognize city DBE; DBE’s in their city programs, on their city funded projects, that’s what our city is going to do, right now it’s not that many certified DBE’s in this area and when we have the city run DBE program by the DBE facilitator, we hope it expands to hundreds of local DBE. Senator Jackson commented and offered to the City that if Monroe finds in their review that the State’s DBE policy is a little too bit stringent, then they are open and willing to sit down with all Council members after communicating with them and the Mayor to see if there is something they can do to amend the bill and become proactive at making sure there are other ways to meet that thing.  Mrs. Sturdivant added another comment for clarification was this isn’t something that has just come up to amend the DBE ordinance, this was discussed for months at the DBE committee meetings and can ask any committee member that it is so outdated, as it was adopted in 1989; it was setup because the Council told them not to bring the purchasing policy back if you don’t have an update to the DBE ordinance.  Mayor Ellis clarified saying that if anyone had been contacted by him or anyone on his staff that said DBE is attached to the purchasing policy, to please speak up and make it clear, because it was never stated; most people on this Council have understood from day one what the administration view was on DBE, that was the conversation with Engineering.  To make it clear this is not a trailing and it’s why there are two separate items; one is to raise the purchasing threshold and the other is completely separate program, the DBE participation program.   


Mrs. Sonja Jacobs, citizens, spoke regarding the DBE goals, city projects, purchasing, procurement and her concern for inclusion and there is a lot of exclusion in the city pertaining to the procurement practices in the minority community. 


Rev. Rodney McFarland Sr., citizen, spoke regarding his concern of raising the bid process from $30,000 to $250,000 was ludicrous.  He asked Council not to support the item.  His understanding was the item would be tabled tonight.  This item should be discussed within the community at community meetings. 


Chairman Marshall moved to table the item, however there was already a motion on the floor to adopt the item. Votes were taken on the Resolution.


(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Woods, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8058, confirming the appointment of  Tony Little to the Southside Economic Development District Board of Commissioners and further providing with respect thereto. (Woods)

(There were no public comments).


Department of Administration:    Public Comment:


(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously voted upon to Not approve to  Consider an Application by Edwin Burks dba Turkey Legs on the Run, 207 Sterlington Rd., Monroe, LA 71203 for a New 2021 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit.  The Monroe Police Department has potentially disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been Cleared, CO-Cleared, Distance Report Cleared.


Comments: Ms. Pamela Saulsberry, citizen, asked the reason for the item not being approved; Mrs. Ezernack stated there were disqualifying records. Mrs. Sturdivant stated there was preference from the Police department due to criminal activity.  Ms. Saulsberry asked if it was proven or allegations.  Mrs. Sturdivant commented during April 2021, there were six people shot at the location, there have been arrest for distribution and possession of cocaine, and on April 4 there were six gunshot victims and 300 people there and the occupancy there is 55 people. Ms. Saulsberry asked if the applicant had been charged with the matter.  Mrs. Sturdivant stated, yes and there were 11 arrests and the most recent was related to cocaine and it doesn’t meet the qualifications in the ordinance.  Ms. Saulsberry asked if the applicant was a convicted criminal. Mrs. Sturdivant commented that there were 6 gunshot victims at the location.  Ms. Saulsberry asked if the applicant was associated and involved.  Mrs. Sturdivant said, yes.  Ms. Saulsberry commented that she wanted to make sure that he was given a chance.  Mrs. Ezernack commented that it doesn’t mean his business will be closed, he won’t be able to have an alcohol license.  Ms. Woods asked if this could be reconsidered at a later time or if he would not be able to have liquor at his place ever.  Mrs. Sturdivant commented that because of the disqualifying records and the recent events, and criminal activity and according to the ordinance it’s a violation. Mrs. Sturdivant said that he can apply again.


(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to Consider an Application by Charles W. Wyatt & Christopher S. Dossett dba Pour by Char19, 201 Century Village Blvd. Ste. 180, Monroe, LA 71203 for a New 2021 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit.  The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been Cleared, CO-Cleared, Distance Report Cleared.  (There were no public comments).


Comments:  Ms. Woods asked if there were background checks on all applicants; Mrs. Sturdivant commented there were background checks on all applicants; applications are sent to the MPD Chief to decide whether there are disqualifying records and he would or would not recommend that they be approved, and he found disqualifying records in his research.  Mr. Marshall commented there were other issues regarding the disqualification, such as liquor being sold prior to getting the license and other things that brought them to the decision.  Mr. Harvey commented on the items being considered that listed information is potential disqualifying records and then information is shared with Council. 


(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson; Voting YES: Dawson, Harvey, Woods, Marshall; Voting to ABSTAIN: Ezernack and  approved to Consider an Application by Kristina M. Crook & Kathleen B. Crook dba K & K’s Giving Tree, 1623 North 18th St., Monroe, LA 71201 for a New 2021 Class B Alcoholic Beverage Permit.  The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been Cleared, CO-Cleared, Distance Report Cleared. (There were no public comments).


(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8059, authorizing a designated city representative to enter into an Agreement between the City of Monroe and PlanSource for Software Services and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).


Department of Planning & Urban Development:     Public Comment:  NONE.


Legal Department:    Public Comment:    NONE. 


Mayor’s Office:      Public Comment:     NONE.


Department of Public Works:    Public Comment:   


(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to Consider request from the WPCC Division of the Public Works Department for permission to advertise an RFP for on-call electrical and motor services in support of Sewer Collections, Wastewater Treatment, Storm Water Stations, Water Treatment and Distribution.  (There were no public comments).


(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8060, authorizing the City of Monroe to apply for a Grant through the United States Department of Transportation and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).


Department of Community Affairs:    Public Comment:   NONE.


Police Department:      Public Comment:   NONE.


Fire Department:     Public Comment:     None.




Engineering Services:       Public Comment:


(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8061, accepting the base bid of Louisiana Bridge, Inc., in the amount $85,172.32, for the CenturyLink Drive Bridge over Bayou Desiard Project, and further authorizing an authorized city representative, to enter into and execute a contract for said work. (There were no public comments).


(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8062, authorizing an authorized city representative to advertise for bids on the Forsythe Pool Demolition Project. The estimated cost of this project is $429,269.50.  The DBE Goal is 12.10% and source of funds Capital Infrastructure Sales Tax Revenue Funds. 


Comments: Mr. Chris Toombs, citizen, commented his concerns for the funding of the project and it is having a slight increase in the DBE.  Mr. Holland commented that the project is a demolition project and have used DBE’s to do demolition and have very few that deal with demolition projects; hopeful there is a DBE that can do the entire project and it depends on their bonding capacity.  Mr. Holland explained the procedure for setting the DBE goal and that it is based on the available DBE’s in the area; Ms. Woods asked if there were minority contractors that could do demolition; Mr. Holland said he’s not saying they don’t, but they do have to bid the project.  Mr. Curt Kelly, Engineering said they are getting Council’s permission to advertise, it hasn’t been posted anywhere and can’t restrict anyone from bidding on the project. Mayor Ellis commented that the water distribution project had a twelve percent participation, and the final participation rate and DBE was 35.21 percent  on the project.  He explained other DBE participation projects, water distribution project on Fulton met its goal at 8.33 and it was final at 38.15 participation rate. Mayor Ellis commended Ms. Hill and her department on meeting goals, and he asked if anyone could point to a project wherein the set goal wasn’t met for a project.  Mr. Holland commented that they usually meet or exceed their goals, it’s statewide. When they are calculation DBE goals, take DBE’s from Ouachita Parish and all surrounding parishes when searching for DBE’s as certified by DOTD, it’s a database they have to work from at this point.  Mrs. Sonja Jacobs explained the definition of a DBE, that being anyone with the exception of a white male, being considered a DBE; her issue with Engineering is the type of DBE’s being over utilized versus the types of DBE’s being under-utilized.  She requested that there is a need for DBE reports to include names of the company and demographic data, and this is the type of information that the state reports.  Mayor Ellis asked Mr. Holland if there was a city ordinance code that keeps a minority contractor, specifically an African American contractor from being certified with the state of Louisiana and to enter the program. Mr. Holland said there wasn’t to his knowledge and Mayor Ellis asked if there was anything that restricted them from bidding on a project, and Mr. Holland said not to his knowledge.


(c) Upon a motion by Mrs. Dawson, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8063, authorizing an authorized city representative, to enter into and execute a Professional Services Agreement with Allied Engineering Design, to provide mechanical engineering services for the Civic Center HVAC System Project and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).


(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8064, authorizing Friday Ellis, Mayor of the City of Monroe to sign and execute documents relating to the Louisiana Department of Transportation - Transportation Alternatives Program for the Jackson Street Corridor Enhancement Grant and further providing with respect thereto. 


Comments:  Mr. Chris Toombs, citizen, supported the item, the sidewalk project, and the underground wiring.









(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Woods, second by Mrs. Dawson; Voting YES: Woods, Dawson, Marshall; Voting NO: Harvey, Ezernack to pass over item to Introduce an Ordinance rescinding the current Article IV Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program of Chapter 2 of the Monroe City Code Entitled “Administration” and adopting a new Article IV Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program of the Monroe City Code and further providing with respect thereto. (Admin.)  (There were no public comments).




Open Public Hearing/Public Comment/Close Hearing:   Chairman Marshall opened the public hearing:


1.  Ms. Vee Wright commented that she felt the city should hold on to downtown property and not sell the property.


Seeing no one else come forward, Chairman Marshall declared the public hearing as closed.


(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to Finally Adopt  Ordinance No. 12,077, declaring certain immovable property in Monroe located at 412 Breard and (no situs) North 4th Street as no longer being needed for public use and authorizing the same to be sold to Chill Holdings LLC pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute 33:4712, and further providing with respect thereto. (Legal) (There were no public comments).


(b)  ADD-ON:  Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, a second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to add to the agenda An Emergency

Ordinance declaring the condition of the storm sewer on Broadmoor Blvd. and Magellan St. to be an emergency necessitating immediate repairs and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).

Comments:  Mrs. Ezernack thanked those involved in the project.


Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, a second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to finally adopt Emergency Ordinance No. 12,078, declaring the condition of the storm sewer on Broadmoor Blvd. and Magellan St. to be an emergency necessitating immediate repairs and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).








1.  Mr. Verbon Muhammad, citizen, commented regarding a request of getting signal lights on 165 a request from the Mayor on getting a letter of support for the light issue on 165.


2.  Ms. Vee Wright, citizen, commented regarding the need to have council meetings at the civic center during the pandemic to accommodate the overflow crowd. She spoke regarding her concern of an agenda item being limited to the number of persons being able to speak.  She gave information on her company and the agenda item referencing DBE’s., and the bidding process. 


Chairman Marshall commented that the City is working hard to put together a plan and it will be a good plan, it has to be laid out, and moving forward will do things to make sure the public is informed.


There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m., upon a  motion of Mrs. Dawson and seconded by Mr. Harvey.  (There were no public comments)


Mr. Carday Marshall, Sr.

Council Chairman


Ms. Carolus S. Riley

Council Clerk


Ms. Jacqueline Benjamin

Council Secretary


*For extended details on the Council meeting please call the Council Clerk, Monday-Friday at 329-2252; also, a recording of the minutes can be sent via email to you.3.5.3226