City Council kicks off 2015 on hopeful note

Published 9:04 am Friday, January 9, 2015

Teddy Drummond and Malinda White were unanimously elected City Council president and vice president, respectively, at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Councilman Doug Ritchie nominated Drummond, while Councilwoman Tamira Moss-Smith nominated White. Ritchie and Drummond hold at-large seats, and Ritchie was council president in 2014. Moss-Smith represents District B, while White represents District D. After the elections, Drummond and White took their seats.

Wendy Perrette sat in as new mayor. Previously, she was a City Council at-large representative and served as vice president in 2014.

No resolutions or ordinances were on the agenda to be discussed or acted upon. During the public participation segment of the meeting, Marcelle Hanemann invited the public to hear Francis Broussard speak at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Native American Museum at Cassidy Park on various artifacts he loaned to the Museum. The artifacts he will speak on include Tibetan singing bowls, said to be used for their healing powers.

“It will be a truly extraordinary experience. The sounds the bowls make has been used for mediation and healing for Native Americans for thousands of years,” she said.

Frequent City Council meeting attendee Fate Ferrell said he looked forward to the new council making progress for the city.

“I suggest the new mayor and council get together with citizens to bring Bogalusa forward,” Ferrell said. “Some citizens have some good ideas. We don’t need to be doing the same things that we have been doing over the years.”

Ferrell referred to a certain powerful group in the city as “the circle.”

“There is a certain group of people controlling everything, I ask you to stay away from the circle,” Ferrell said. “Let’s come up with some ideas to clean Bogalusa up. I’ll be one of the first ones to bring some ideas to Bogalusa.”

During department head reports, Police Chief Joe Culpepper said calls for service were down for December. He said there were 13,407 complaint calls in 2014 with 2,000 arrests. He said 567 accidents were reported in the city last year.

Fire Chief Richard Moody reported his department responded to 1,357 calls last year. He said his department responded to 57 structure fires in 2014.

Public Works Director James Hall said his crews recently picked up 358 20-gallon trash bags full of litter over a two-day period.

Main Street Manager Robin Day said two business owners now own their buildings. They are Charlotte Hughes, who owns the Polka Dot Tree at 423 S. Columbia, and Angela Mitchell, who owns Cajun Canvas at 425 S. Columbia.

Day said the popular Rendezvous on the Road begins in March and ends in August. The series happens on every fourth Friday during those months.

Recreation Director Landon Tims said crews are sprucing up Goodyear Park with new lights, replacing broken boards at the park and repairing swing sets at all city parks.