Councilmen bump, dodge tough questions
GONZALES - Council members facing a recall effort dodged and bumped their way through a town hall Monday night.
It was the first meeting since the SaveGonzales group filed a recall petition with the state against councilmen Timothy Vessel and Gary Lacombe last week.
Voters want the pair gone after they, along with councilman Terance Irvin, voted down a rezoning measure that would have brought a multi-million dollar company to Gonzales.
"We lost a $30 million company here in Gonzales that moved outside of the city. How many more $30 million companies can we continue to lose until Gonzalez is not as prosperous anymore?, SaveGonzales spokesman Bill Landry asked. Landry is the former city police chief.
"We are following the master plan from 1997," Lacombe said.
Lacombe told WBRZ News 2, he blocked rezoning a parcel of land on Highway 44 because he felt the company, Crawford Industries, could choose other plots of land that already had the proper zoning.
The city ultimately lost the business to an unincorporated area of Ascension Parish.
Vessel rushed out after Monday's meeting and had no comment on the effort to get him kicked out of office.
Monday, Lacombe, Vessel and Irvin also pushed aside Mayor Barney Arceneaux's 2014-2015 budget.
The trio wants to put $800,000 aside to fund an I-10 service road study.
"If you look at Highway 44 and Highway 30, we're really poised to get a service road. You could open that up, and you could put more businesses there. More businesses means more revenue," Lacombe said.
In order to move money around for the service road study, the three men took money from other department's budgets, such as public works, the police department and the fire department.