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December 20, 2018

Bogalusa Council Meeting Sees Both "Naughty and Nice"

The last Bogalusa City Council meeting of 2018, and the last meeting for five of the seven current members, was another "marathon" meeting that lasted over two hours. The meeting was well-attended and saw good public participation. The Council took care of business in a deliberate fashion. The meeting also included well-wishes for the season and positive reflections from Council Members about service to the City and serving with one another. However, the meeting saw more than its fair share of animosity.

The Council addressed routine matters but controversy erupted over fiscal matters and over the ordinance to amend rules related to the use of the parks and the commission overseeing the parks.

  • a resolution providing for canvassing and declaring results of the December 8, 2018 election was approved.
  • an ordinance was introduced to accept the low bid for self-contained breathing apparatus for the Fire Department. (A Public Hearing and vote will be held on this ordinance at the next meeting)
  • an ordinance was introduced to approved and adopt the 2019 budget. (A Public Hearing and vote will be held on this ordinance at the next meeting)
  • an ordinance was introduced to provide sanctions to compel attendance by Council members. (A Public Hearing and vote will be held on this ordinance at the next meeting)
  • A Public Hearing and Council vote was held on the ordinance to amend the 2018 budget. Go to part 1 of the video below (beginning at 9:16 - 25:30) to view and hear the introduction, discussion, and controversy related to amending the 2018 budget. Council Member and President Gloria Kates took issue with variances between the budget and actual expenditures and charged that she had received no response to her questions. Finance Director Smith and Mayor Perrette insisted that Kates' questions had not been received. Lengthy contentious comments and discussions followed. Ultimately, the Council voted to approve the amended budget by a vote of six to one (Kates voted "Nay").
  • A Public Hearing and Council vote was held on the ordinance to amend and re-enact Chapter 13 of the Bogalusa City Code Parks and Recreation to provide Rules for the Parks and Recreation Commission and Rules and Regulations for the use of the Park and Enforcement by the Director of Parks and Recreation. Go to part 1 of the video below (beginning at 25:40 - 56:45) to view and hear the introduction, discussion, and controversy. Included in the lengthy hearing on the ordinance were issues regarding who would serve on the Commission's board, charges by Kates of lack of transparency by the Mayor, and charges by the Mayor of untrue rumours regarding this matter. Ultimately, the ordinace was approved with amendments (two amendments passed and one amendment failed).
  • Although not on the Agenda, a Public Hearing was held on an ordinance to amend the existing ordinance regulating food trucks in the City. Go to the part 2 of the video below (beginning 0:00 - 13:20) to view and hear the introduction and discussion of the ordinance. Ultimately, the Council again tabled the ordinance.

The Public Participation segment was both entertaining and controversial. (See part 2 of the video below beginning 13:30 - 31:50)

After Administrative remarks and a lengthy period of Council Discussion, the meeting concluded.

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