Vacant board, commission seats filled by Gonzales Council

Wade McIntyre

The Gonzales City Council appointed Karl Scott to the Civil Service Board and Frank Cagnolatti to the Planning and Zoning Commission at its regular meeting Nov. 10.

Scott’s appointment fills one of two vacancies, allowing the Civil Service Board to act officially and certify the civil service scores of applicants to the vacant city fire chief position.

The appointment clears the way for Mayor-elect Barney Arceneaux to name a new chief when he takes office.

The chief’s position is currently held by acting Chief Tracey Normand.

Mayor Johnny Berthelot said after former chief Butch Browning resigned to accept the  State Fire Marshall appointment in March that he would not fill the position.

Berthelot said at the time he felt the job of appointing a new chief would better be served by the incoming mayor.

Exams were given four months ago for the chief position, as well as assistant fire chief and the district fire chief job, but a fourth member had to be named to the Civil Service board in order for the test results to be certified.

In an unrelated matter, Mike Schexnaydre of Postlewaite &  Netterville, delivered the city financial audit report. He said the city had no significant deficiencies and no instances of noncompliance in accounting for the fiscal year that ended May 31.

In a financial analysis of the city as a whole, the audit report indicates that the total cost of programs and services in the city increased approximately $3 million, or 19 percent.

Governmental total expenses increased 25 percent, and expenses of the city’s business type activities increased 3.7 percent.

The city’s combined net assets grew from fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2008 by approximately $5.3 million to $75.8 million.

According to the report, the city’s “future revenues are expected to be the same as in current years,” because of the decline in the economy.

At the end of the fiscal year, Gonzales investments in the Louisiana Asset Management Pool were rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s, and city investments in U.S. Agencies and U.S. Government

Securities were also rated AAA by Moody’s Investors Service, the report said.

In another business matter, the council adopted an cooperative endeavor agreement with the Jambalaya Festival Association to lease on a monthly basis a house at 118 S. Francois.

The JFA is to maintain the premises and make routine repairs to the property at its expense, as well as obtaining fire, liability and damage insurance.

Also, in unrelated business, the council declared Dec. 31, 2009 as the administrative day off for the year.