Posted: May 21, 2014 11:30 AM by Russell Jones & Rob Krieger
Updated: May 21, 2014 6:50 PM
GONZALES - Mayor Barney Arceneaux announced Wednesday that he'd vetoed the budget recently passed by the Gonzales City Council.
"it is irresponsible and reckless to cut needed equipment from both the police department and the fire department, which directly affect the safety, health and welfare of our citizens, in order to provide funding for an $800,000 expenditure for a road study," said Arceneaux.
The vetoed budget contained a number of controversial cuts, including the removal of $500,000 set aside for police and fire vehicles as well as the $75,000 reduction of an annual contract with the Ascension Economic Development Corporation.
In its place, councilmen Gary Lacombe and Terance Irvin added $800,000 for a study of an I-10 service road between La. 30 and La. 44, something that might raise ethical concerns.
"Even more concern to me are the questions that have been raised, concerning the ownership interest of an immediate family member of one of the councilmen who voted in favor of the budget amendment of several of the affected tracks of land on S. Darla avenue," said Arceneaux.
The council will have an opportunity to vote to override the mayor's veto, otherwise work will have to begin on a new budget.
The budget passed 3-2 at the April 28 meeting with Lacombe, Irvin, and Timothy Vessel voting in favor. Lacombe and Vessel are facing a recall effort, as members of their district are working to collect signatures to trigger a vote.