Jeffrey Douglas’ office is set by law and, serving as administrator for the City Council, he keeps each member informed and updated on a regular basis and well prior to meetings.
While developing agendas, he reviews regulation request forms for public input which must be submitted prior to the meeting. With the mayor, he determines if the matter in question can be handled within the government itself. If so, he contacts the correct department to assist the person. If it is indeed a matter for the council, the person’s name is added to the agenda and he will be given five minutes to speak.
He has responsibility for the council room, its security and its sound system as every meeting is recorded by equipment sensitive enough to pick up audience comments. By law, he is required to document who is present, each item and what action takes place. Afterward, he transcribes the minutes, saving and backing up everything in various locations.
Other parts of security Douglas oversees are service contracts and computer systems, assisting in the coordination of repairs, upgrades in the purchase of hardware, software, peripherals, website design and administration and email and internet administration, including online security.
He coordinates office services, ordering of materials, keeping the code of ordinances updated and distributed to all departments and to Clerk of Court’s office when required.
He is available to answer questions from the public, oversee public records requests, also seeing each is documented and filed.
Briefly put, he is responsible for work on and reporting the official journal, reviewing state purchasing contracts for savings on services, then requesting bids for city service contracts, meeting with the mayor and other department managers regarding the selection of bids.
In insurances, he reviews and manages policies for general, liability and property. For city equipment, Douglas maintains a list of all city vehicles, their titles and vital information plus completes renewals and registrations for each.
While responsible for handling all advertising and sales for surplus properties, he also coordinates elections with Secretary of State and Clerk of Court, keeping information updated on elected officials and notices regarding tax millage and affidavits.
He is expected to maintain credit cards and track their use, review bank reconciliations provided by the Financial Manager, research outstanding items , coordinate special projects with City Hall as needed, all the while protecting confidential information and upholding all city policies. Crediting his predecessor, longtime City Clerk Tomlyn Poche, for her meticulous and official documentation of records, Douglas says his transition into the role of providing assistance to the citizens has been made easier.
A graduate of Ponchatoula High School, Douglas brings to City Hall ten years of experience in mechanical seals, afterwards earning degrees in Accounting and Economics. To stay current in his field, he is active in the Louisiana Municipal Association of which Ponchatoula is a member, The Louisiana Municipal Clerks Association, as a board trustee, and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks Association.
Loving his home community and wanting to become more involved in it, he turned down offers from larger cities to take the position of City Clerk, became president of Ponchatoula Jaycees and treasurer of the Chamber Board and served as the Louisiana Jaycees state president.
In his spare time, Douglas enjoys hunting, traveling and road trips to find the “real” people off the main highways.