Deadline approaching for City of Minden mayoral appointment

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The deadline is fast approaching for members of the Minden City Council to address the issue of an interim mayor to finish the term of the late Terry Gardner.

City attorney Jimbo Yocom said Gov. John Bel Edwards won’t step in to make an appointment until after Monday July 18, giving the council the full 20 days to handle the issue.

“The council has until July 18,” Yocom said. “If nothing has been resolved by the 19th, it becomes the governor’s issue.”

However, Yocom said the governor does not have to appoint someone specifically on that date.

“If they had not appointed a mayor pro tem, I would’ve appealed to (the governor) to have mercy powers to do it,” he said. “Since they (council) appointed Mr. (Wayne) Edwards, to resolve the matter, the city can move forward.”

With only District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker absent, council members voted unanimously to appoint Edwards as mayor pro tem July 5. The District A councilman can still vote on issues, whereas Minden’s mayor – interim or permanent – cannot cast a ballot on city issues unless there is a tie vote by the council.

Edwards has not made a decision about whether to call a special council meeting to appoint an interim mayor.

“Right now, I’m more concerned about the city budget,” Edwards said. “We’re 1.5 million over on expenses, and we are working trying to get that number down. That’s my major interest right now.

“If we get that taken care of, we will give the other part some consideration,” he continued. “But my focus right now is just on that budget.”

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