Council absences were not a good look

Published 4:19 am Saturday, December 15, 2018

This past Tuesday, Dec. 11, the Bogalusa City Council called a special meeting outside of its regular schedule. Typically, the council meets on the first Tuesday and the third Tuesday of each month.

However, there was no quorum (five council members of seven are required to be present to conduct official business) at the council’s regular Tuesday, Dec. 4, meeting. As a result, the council had to call a special meeting one week later. It was necessary to conduct business that must be completed by the end of the calendar year — such as passing the city’s budget for 2019.

It should be stated, again, that this was a special meeting. The Daily News ran a front-page story in the previous Saturday’s paper, and social media shared the agenda ahead of time. As a result, there was a large crowd present for Tuesday night’s meeting, some of whom traveled from as far as Mt. Hermon and Franklinton.

But when the time came to start the meeting Tuesday, there were only four council members present. Three minutes were given to see if anyone else would arrive late, but eventually the call was made to declare the meeting adjourned for lack of a quorum.

Certainly, it is understood that emergency situations will arise and absences will occasionally be necessary. But to call a special meeting, and then still not have a quorum present — that is just very bad optics for the Bogalusa City Council. It is unfair to those citizens who took time out of their day to attend. It is rude, and arguably a dereliction of duty.

The Bogalusa City Council will have its next regular meeting this coming Tuesday, Dec. 18. Once again, the 2019 budget will likely be on the agenda. We understand that the meeting comes a week before Christmas, but we urge all city council members to be in attendance.

The citizens elected you and put their faith in you to attend these meetings. It’s time to do your part.