The City of Ville Platte’s Section 8 rent subsidy program was the main item of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ville Platte City Council meeting.
Auditor Vic Slaven presented his findings after auditing the city’s financial records for the period July 1, 2010 through June 20, 2011. There were eight major discrepancies cited in the Section 8 program. The findings included: no lease contract between landlord and tenant, a waiting list was not maintained, no background checks were taken on participants and inspections were not made prior to the execution of a contract.
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine vowed to correct the problems within the program. The program receives $600,000 in federal Housing and Urban Development funds with 143 homes in the city.
City Councilman Freddie Jack made a motion to send those employees involved in the Section 8 program to attend all necessary Conferences and Seminars in 2012 to stay abreast of the latest changes in the program.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine was against the motion saying she, the mayor, should be permitted to decide which personnel should attend. “We should not reward employees who may not be doing their jobs or who are insubordinate in permitting them to go to conferences,” said the mayor.
Jack reminded the mayor that there is an ordinance that states that the mayor and council will decide who goes to conferences, not the mayor alone. The city council approved Jack’s motion .
Gervis Lafleur, Director of the Evangeline Community Action Agency stated “This is not a clean audit. You need to correct the findings. If whoever was attending these conferences would be listening and paying attention, there would be no discrepancies.”
In other business, the city council:
--recognized Police Sgt. Detective Linton Fontenot who recently retired after 23 years of service;
--recognized the Ville Platte High Bulldog Cheerleaders who participated on national TV in the Capitol One Bowl;
--approved sponsoring the Summer Feeding program next summer at Ville Platte High School for the children of the community;
--agreed to enter into a cooperative agreement with Louisiana Folk Roots to donate labor and equipment for the upcoming Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week at Chicot State Park in April;
--approved the purchase of 50 metal street signs to be placed throughout the city reminding residents about the city’s loud noise and anti slabbing ordinances;
--voted to apply for a $50,000 state grant to make repairs to city water well #9;
--was notified that the city prosecutor will publish in the local newspaper and announce on the radio about the new tough ordinance dealing with dilapidated homes and buildings.