Thursday, October 12, 2006




Will Moses

Residents of Winnfield confront their city council again. They want to know if the council's vote to give themselves pay raises last July followed the letter of the law.

Lawrence Sikes agrees it's a disappointing situation, but on the part of city leaders, who didn't consider the town's ability to pay its mayor $60,000 a year, and $900 a month for council members.

Sikes says, "For a city this size, we can not afford a $60,000 a year mayor and a $900 for one day's work as a council member."

In the "Winnfield Enterprise Newspaper", the council posted the amendment to raise their salaries on July 5th, but the exact dollar amount wasn't posted until the July 19th article -- eight days after the council voted on the increases."

And that move angered Winnfield residents, who want the vote overturned. Victor Rashal says, "All I'm asking him to do is to correct the mistakes that the city has made."

At least one council member isn't happy with the process either. Sarah Junkin said she didn't know the actual dollar amount of the pay hikes until after the vote.

But that doesn't sit well with Lawrence Sikes. He believes the council should have made it clear from the beginning, since the council represents the people -- not the other way around.

Sikes says, "In preamble to the constitution, it says 'we the people', not we the president or we the senate. And we the people are going to have to stand up."

Rashal says the next step is to file his completed recall petition with Baton Rouge. Until then, the council can continue to try its best to serve the people, even if the people are upset with them.

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