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Burying the hatchet

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GONZALES - Although the council passed the city's capital outlay budget Monday night, the tension remains over a series of other issues.

There are two different attorneys representing the city of Gonzales and some of the councilmen and they're racking up a hefty bill.  Fees for attorney Robert Barnett, who represents Terance Irvin, Gary Lacombe and Timothy Vessel now total $24,717. Representing the city is Dwight Poirrier, who's fees are $9,380.

The numbers will keep adding up. Barnett says he has more people to talk to.

"We have a difference of opinion on which way the planning and zoning is running right now," said Arceneaux. "That's where the problem lies."

The council voted 3-2 to approve the legal fees. Councilmen Kenny Matassa and Kirk Boudreaux voted not to approve the $46,800 bill. The council did agree to amend the General Fund Budget to increase the legal fee budget from $15,000 to $65,000.

Also at issue is a recall election, which councilmen Vessel and Lacombe are both facing.

Last week, Mayor Arceneaux called for Vessel's resignation, after police released photos of him on a tricycle politicking too close to a polling place.

Monday, Vessel respond by saying: "Until the day the mayor decides he wants to step down, I'll step down with him."

To which Arceneaux replied, "Well, he'll be here for a while then, because I'm not."

The recall election is Dec. 6.

With the passing of the capital outlay budget, approximately $327,000 will go to the police department, which is about $110,000 less than what Chief Sherman Jackson asked for.


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