Councilman Vernon “Step” Martin diverted from the agenda during Wednesday night’s meeting to address a social media post by a city employee.
Martin referred to a Sept. 2 Facebook entry by Sarah Fontenot, who identified herself in the post as a “certified municipal deputy clerk.”
“She said ‘you cronies fed me to the news media.’ I didn’t know what a ‘cronie’ was so I looked it up,” Martin said.
“I can’t say this was a direct attack. It wasn’t so bold as to say ‘Vernon Martin,’ but we represent the city of Crowley.”
Fontenot’s post refers to an incident during Hurricane Laura. Fontenot admitted that she brought her dog to city hall “so (the dog) did not get stuck in my house for Hurricane without electric (sic) and maybe have an anxiety attack.”
She alleges that a councilman told her, “City hall is not a dog pound.”
After saying that she is aware that city hall is not a dog pound and demanding respect for her position, Fontenot wrote: “Let me make this perfectly clear I clearly said one councilman so if you didn’t say that city hall is not a dog pound because I had my dog during the hurricane then no other council members this has nothing to do with you. Its high time this one council member answers for his negativity that he cast upon me continuously!!!”
Martin lamented that no disciplinary action had been taken against Fontenot since the post
“I’m asking the mayor pro-temp to do your damn job,” Martin said, addressing Alderman-at-Large Steven Premeaux. “You are the city authority.”
But, amid shouts of “point of order” and “this isn’t on the agenda” from various council members, Premeaux explained that he does not have the authority to discipline employees.
“I was given the authority to conduct these meetings only,” he said. “I don’t have any authority to handle the day-to-day operations.”
Premeaux has been conducting council and committee meetings since Mayor Tim Monceaux’s late-July COVID-19 diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization.
Martin apologized to Premeaux and the council returned to the agenda.
A Crowley police officer was brought before the Fire and Police Civil Service Board last year when council members took offense to his reference to a “Mickey Mouse city council” in a Facebook post.
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