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During the council members’ time for comments at the Nicholls City Council meeting Monday night, council member and mayor pro tem Tracey Darby Jackson admonished unnamed city employees for what she called “disrespect and insubordination” to a packed council meeting room.
“The city employees — they’re coming in and they’re gossiping about the mayor and I feel like if this continues, the mayor needs to write them up. This is not a gossip session. You come here to work. You need to work and go home and stop gossiping about people. It’s just out of hand about them coming up here and talking,” she said.
Jackson then called Mayor Tamon Frost a “strong mayor” and said no one wants to do anything about the insubordination that was taking place inside City Hall. “I don’t know what we’ve got to do about it but . . . I feel like y’all should know about it. I’m just tired of all the gossiping and talking about us. If y’all got anything to say about us y’all need to confront us with it,” she said. Then Jackson turned to Mayor Frost and added, “You need to start writing them up when they do. That’s what you need to do, to show them what you can do.”
As Jackson was concluding her remarks, councilman Philip Grady stood up and said, “I’ll tell you everything. I don’t gossip and I don’t talk behind your back.” Jackson responded with, “I didn’t say you did.” Then Mayor Frost banged the gavel and said, “Out of order! Out of order!”
After the mayor’s intervention, Jackson continued. “Like I told y’all back there, I told y’all that y’all are wrong. Every one of you are wrong,” she said. Turning again to Mayor Frost, she stated, “You need to stand up and let them know who you are. Don’t let them run over you . . . They ain’t gonna do me like that. They already know.”
The “back there” that Jackson referenced was an executive session the council conducted at the start of the meeting. The mayor and council left the meeting for a few minutes to discuss a personnel matter. When they came back in, they never said what the executive session was about nor did they vote on anything covered. The only mention of the executive session came during Jackson’s comments.
The council did conduct some city business Monday night. Council members approved a new no parking ordinance along Highway 32 and other city streets (emergency, construction, and utility vehicles are exempt), the closure of a portion of Alma Avenue between North Middleton and North Hall, the purchase of a new pump for public works ($11,475), an EZ Locator to locate water lines ($17,855, paid for from ARPA funds), and the move from gas to liquid disinfection for city wells.
The council held the first reading for a change in zoning for .246 acres on North Hall to Neighborhood Commercial and reported that the fire department is looking for a new fire chief. Police chief Jamie Merritt stated that the police department answered 307 calls in May. Council member and volunteer fireman Allen Thompson stated that the fire department did not report any calls in May.
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