Jan 11, 2012 11:18 PM by Shawn Kline

Parish President's 'pink slips' the talk of first council meeting

Iberia Parish Council is sworn into office including new Parish President Errol "Romo" Romero.
Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John Weimer issued the oath of office to all 14 council members.

After they were sworn in, they convened for their first meeting of the new term with a controversial issue on the table:

Even before taking the oath of office, Iberia Parish President "Romo" Romero sent out nine pink slips, releasing just about every department head and some staff positions.

Of those nine positions, four of them are department heads. Parish President Romero made suggestions for each position but council chose to defer until next week, giving them time to make the 'right' decision.

"We just received their resumes tonight," Councilman Roger Duncan said. "The positions they're being recommended for are, to me, very high profile positions."

Duncan had only a few minutes to review the candidates for a handful of Iberia Parish Departments:
The Chief Administrative Officer and Directors of Human Resources- Permits, Planning, and Zoning- and Public Works are all vacant.

"The ones that were let go, they had some good qualifications." Duncan says, "if you're going to bring someone in, at least match them up to the qualifications of the people who just left."

Until now, Council members never even had a resume for any of those positions.

Holly Thubron is one of the candidates for a "new" altered position for Communications Director. She's already taking on public relations duties for Parish President Romero.

"He has full faith in those four people he recommended today." Thubron said on Romero's behalf. "(He) believes (the recommendations) will all be great assets to Iberia Parish."

Duncan says it's not unusual for department heads to be replaced but some of those pink slips went to staff members. That decision is now being reviewed by attorneys on both sides.

"We'll wait to see what that second opinion includes before taking (further) actions on those employees," Thubron said.

In the mean time, all nine of those positions will remain vacant until council approves the Parish President's recommendations.



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