Retirement benefits need catch-up

By: GEOFFREY STOUTE

MORGAN CITY — The Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District will pay an unspecified amount to compensate lost retirement contributions that both commissioners and the port’s executive director said they didn’t realize were not being taken out.

Commission President Jerry Gauthier said that the monies, which amounted to 10 percent of Hoffpauir’s salary, were supposed to begin being taken out and put into a retirement account in 2007 when Hoffpauir was rehired after former port director Tim Tregle was fired.

“We just discovered recently that we have not been doing that,” Gauthier said. “It’s nobody’s fault but oversight.”

Gauthier said the port will fund the lost wages, which will be made in two deposits — one in December and another in June.

In other news, commissioners unanimously agreed not to renew its contract with The Livingston Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm.

The contract will mean that longtime consultant Martin Cancienne will no longer provide consulting services — at least in the near future — for the port after his contract expires next month.

Gauthier said he didn’t think the contract needed to be renewed because there is so much “political gridlock” in Washington, D.C., that there are not any monies coming down from there.

“So to have someone up there trying to get earmarks for us or special funds for us is just not happening and I don’t expect it will happen … personally, at least for another year or so,” Gauthier said. “To spend that kind of money to try to get blood out of a turnip is not a credible position for me right now.”

No commissioners objected to the proposal.

Cancienne was not present at Monday’s meeting.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the commissioners approved a letter of no objection for Miller Engineers & Associates Inc. on behalf of Daniel Felterman regarding a Miller Engineers’ project.

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