Scott City Council announces parish-wide gentleman’s agreement, gives preliminary approval for $12 million sales tax bonds

Marina Prestenbach

At the Dec. 3 Scott City Council meeting, Police Chief Scott Leger announced that the Scott Police Department along with all of the police departments in Lafayette Parish agreed to a consistent base pay of $40,000.

This comes after the The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved an ordinance in November that increased the starting salary from $34,600 to $40,000 for employees at the Lafayette Police Department.

Officers in the cities of Scott, Broussard, Carencro, Lafayette and Duson do not currently make a consistent base pay. As a result, jobs in cities where the starting salary is higher are more sought after and have higher number of applicants than cities with lower starting salaries.

Leger says a standard base pay across the parish will prevent city offices from robbing each other of potential officers. Instead, departments may share the applications of candidates, and open up the network.

With a standard base pay, “It’s not a salary issue. If all benefits and salaries are the same, we can share names,” said Leger.

Leger addressed the audience, explaining how the parish police chiefs planned to prevent a future pay difference from occurring.

“How do we prevent this? A gentleman’s agreement among chiefs. We are gonna bring the parish chiefs and mayors together again in a few years.”

According to Leger, all police chiefs and mayors in the parish gathered for a luncheon and determined the base starting pay for police officers across the parish. They plan to meet again and discuss adjustments to the base starting pay as the economy fluctuates over the upcoming years.

This gentleman’s agreement, which is an informal, legally non-binding agreement between the parties, will serve as a pact of sorts between all parish chiefs and mayors to keep the base pay for officers equal. This will work to keep all departments equally staffed.

During the meeting, the board amended the budget $59,645 for the police department, which will fund salaries, retirement and taxes for officers. According to Leger, this amendment for salaries is to create the “competitive pay” for police officers in Scott.

The Scott City Council also voted in favor of the preliminary approval of sales tax bonds to the city of Scott. This resolution states that the sales tax bond who’s issuance of not to exceed $12 million will need approval from the State Bond Commission.

“This just allows us to start the process,” Brennan Black, attorney at Foley and Judell, L.L.P., said.

If the city of Scott does receive funding from the state, they will take this money and apply it to other infrastructure needs, Richard said.

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