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(KADN) - Six of the nine members of the Crowley City Council are forcing a meeting on Monday, Aug. 2 to take some power away from Mayor Tim Monceaux.
Councilwoman Kim Stringfellow spearheaded the plan, getting five other board members to sign on. She tells News15 the purpose of the meeting is to codify board meetings because Monceaux has repeatedly removed agenda items up for discussion during his two and half years as mayor, mainly on the agendas for committee meetings.
"It's the transparency issue is the main thing," Stringfellow says. "I have constituents who want things discussed during open meetings. It's hard to go back to them and say, 'Well, the mayor.'"
Stringfellow says tension between the mayor and some members of the council had been building for months. In February she sought advice from attorneys, both with the Louisiana Municipal Association and Crowley's city attorney. The LMA attorney advised her to call a special meeting and set parameters for meetings so that future discussion items cannot be removed by the mayor.
One topic Stringfellow and other council members want discussed more openly is one that has plagued numerous cities, especially since the pandemic began: "One of the main things was the increased crime in Crowley," Stringfellow says, "and [Monceaux] would take that off the agenda."
As an example of what she characterizes as the mayor's meddling in council affairs, Stringfellow says she had put five discussion items on the agendas for two committees for the July meeting and Monceaux removed four of them.
"How do I get it on the agenda without him taking it off? The only way to do it was to call a special meeting," Stringfellow adds.
Tensions between Monceaux and the board, and among board members, have run high for months. Two board members, Brad Core and Jeff Cavell, nearly got in a physical fight at the end of a committee meeting on June 2. The two had to be separated by Crowley Police officers. Core was among the six council members who signed on for the Aug. 2 special meeting. Cavell was not among them.
News15 reached out to Mayor Monceaux, both via his mobile phone and Crowley City Hall, and has not heard back. We'll update this story if/when we hear back from the mayor.