Eckhart resigns; Ardoin gets job
In a social media post made Monday, January 18, Turkey Creek Chief of Police Shawn Eckhart announced his resignation from his position.
Cited as reasons for his resignation were personal differences between Eckhart and elected officials of the village.
Eckhart went on to state, during his 11 months as chief, the department’s budget has gone from being in the red to being in excess of $150,000.
“It was a pleasure working with you all,” Eckart said in his post. “I resigned, not fired.”
The following night, during the regularly scheduled council meeting, Mayor Phillip Cavins stated he and Eckhart had a meeting prior to last month’s council meeting about a change in direction within the department. According to Cavins, the proposed changes were disregarded “which led to yesterday’s turn of events.”
Following his resignation, Eckhart contacted Patrol Captain Chris Lemaire of the police department about his job being in jeopardy.
“I was contacted before he resigned that my resignation was actually going to be asked for in this meeting as well,” said Lemaire during the meeting.
Mayor Cavins replied that the council would call Lemaire into an executive session to discuss his future with the police department.
Lemaire then said, “I dedicated my time and service and a lot of my money into this town, and I would like to keep it that way. The reason I’d like to keep it that way is because I enjoy what I do. I’ve always been here for this town.”
Mayor Cavins thanked Lemaire for his service to the village and expressed, “I look forward to continue working with you to work some things out and move forward with the department.”
The council, later in the meeting, went into an hour long executive session. After the session, the council accepted Mayor Cavins’ recommendation to name assistant chief Steve Ardoin as chief of police.
Ardoin will serve as acting chief pending his promotion becoming permanent following a public hearing set for 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16.
In other business, the council adopted resolutions to apply for grants through LGAP (Local Government Assistance Program) and CWEF (Community Water Enrichment Fund). If approved, the money would be used as part of the match percentage needed in receiving capital outlay funds for the construction of a new elevated water tower to replace the ground storage tank at the Chicot well site. A proposed 10-inch line would then connect both water towers.
The council also approved the adoption of an anti-slabbing ordinance and voted to introduce an ordinance raising the speed limit on Cemetery Rd from 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. A public hearing regarding the ordinance proposal is set for 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16.