The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday heard from Arthur Sampson, President of the NAACP Chapter, who complained that there appears to be a racial bias in the city’s project to clean up abandoned homes and vehicles.
Sampson said it appears that the city is targeting minorities in making homeowners clean up their properties. He gave an example of one person who received notice from the city to clean up their property. The person in question, according to Sampson, said a Caucasian neighbor has abandoned vehicles on his property for years and has never received a notice from the city.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine replied to Sampson’s accusations “I can guarantee you that we are not targeting people along racial lines.”
Sampson also had a complaint about a city employee that he wanted to talk openly about during the meeting.
However, Mayor Vidrine said city protocol calls for the citizen with a complaint against an employee to meet privately with the supervisor of that employee. In this case, Sampson is due to meet with the mayor to hear his complaints.
In other business, the city approved calling a public hearing on June 23 at 11:45am to receive public comment on the city’s new fiscal year budget that begins July 1. The new budget will be formally adopted in a special meeting after the hearing at noon on that same date at city hall.
Also the city heard a proposal from Consultant Samuel Stewart of Houston who is proposing constructing a combination convention/event center and hotel in the city. The 28,000 square foot event center would hold conventions and special musical concerts. The hotel would house approximately 100 rooms. He said the project would create 200 construction jobs and 60 permanent jobs.
The project would be funded through municipal bonds to be paid back from the use of the convention center and hotel over a 25 year period.
His detailed written proposal was referred to the city’s legal advisor for review.