Trash focus of meeting

Published 11:40 am Friday, October 9, 2015

The age-old discussion during Tuesday’s Bogalusa City Council meeting focused on trash, before it soon devolved into finger pointing and name-calling.

Rebecca Ferrell, the wife of long-time city council observer Fate Ferrell, singled out District C Councilman Brian McCree for some rather pointed criticism. She accused McCree of not helping her husband clean up property as much as he could.

“I’m not picking up trash. I’m not a trash collector,” McCree said. “I barely mow my own yard. If someone wants councilman McCree out, there are procedures to do that. Each councilman is a different person.”

Near the end during council discussion, District B Councilwoman Tamira Smith directed remarks toward Rebecca Ferrell. Smith accused Rebecca Ferrell of not helping an elderly Ferrell family member. Smith said she took it upon her own to assist the family member.

Rebecca Ferrell became livid after that remark. She approached Smith after the meeting and called Smith “an Uncle Tom.” Both women are black. Maj. James Smith, who was substituting for Bogalusa Police Chief Police Joe Culpepper in presenting the police report, stepped between the women.

The argument continued outside for a short time and Smith was pressed into duty again, separating them.

Fate Ferrell thanked council members Doug Ritchie and Teddy Drummond for their help in cleaning up 1402 Sullivan Drive, which is near his Dewitt Place residence.

“Id like to thank Mr. Ritchie and Mr. Drummond for speaking up and getting some problems solved,” Fate Ferrell said. “We finally got that property cleaned up without the help of other council members.”

Fate Ferrell offered some suggestions.

“We’re moving in a better direction with the cemeteries,” he said. “They’ve been cleaned. We need an idea forum to help clean up Bogalusa. The graveyards look so much better by being clean and the rest of the city could look the same way.

“We come here two times a month and we’re not accomplishing much. I see too many issues that need to be corrected.”

One of Fate Ferrell’s pet peeves is Code Enforcement. He said it is an office with no teeth to bring dilapidated properties up to code. He noted that the property at 1402 Sullivan Dr., which still is in need of repair, is owned by Lee Edward, of Grand Bay, Ala., near Mobile.

Drummond said he was recently informed that 20 to 25 percent of dilapidated properties in the city are owned by those who live out of town.

In other business, the council:

• Accepted an ordinance to change the zoning of 301 Montgomery St. from A-2 Residential to B-Transition, to open a chiropractor’s office at the location. Dr. Joe Halkovic owns Bogalusa Family Chiropractic Clinic, which is moving from 225 Memphis St. and has four employees.

A citizen requested for a “Children At Play” sign to be erected near the clinic.

• Approved Jason Verret for a seat on the Bogalusa Housing Authority Board. He replaces Ryan Seal. It is a volunteer position.

• Heard from Bogalusa Fire Department Chief Richard Moody, who warned citizens of a cave in on Marshall Richardson Road near Greenbriar and Woodbine streets. He urged drivers to be cautious when approaching the site, which is barricaded.

• Accepted an ordinance to summarize each agenda item as introduced so the general public could fully comprehend them.

• Heard from state Senate District 12 candidate Mickey Murphy, D-Bogalusa. The election is Oct. 24.