Tempers flare at council meeting

Published 8:25 am Friday, November 6, 2015

Tuesday’s Bogalusa City Council meeting at Bogalusa City Hall ended with its usual amount of rancor and finger pointing during the proceedings.

It wasn’t until most citizens had already made their way to their vehicles or had already departed when the real fireworks began.

Councilwoman Tamira Moss-Smith’s brother, Damian Moss, and frequent city council critic Rebecca Ferrell, apparently exchanged words sometime after the meeting adjourned. Three Bogalusa Police Department officers were already on the scene. Along with Deputy Marshal Lavon Seals, the officers tried to calm an obviously upset Moss and escorted him to his vehicle.

Tamira Moss-Smith and Ferrell have had previous run-ins during city council meetings.

During the meeting, Rebecca Ferrell’s husband, Fate, continued his criticisms of how the city is operated.

“Coming up, it will soon be one year since y’all took office,” Ferrell said, referring to the current council members.

“Y’all should have come into office with a plan for fixing up this city. I’ve asked for a town hall meeting, but y’all don’t want a town hall meeting.”

With that, Council President Teddy Drummond shut Ferrell down.

“This is the same stuff every two weeks,” Drummond said.

“I’ve got freedom of speech,” Ferrell shot back.

“You need to be preaching to the ones who aren’t doing something,” Drummond said.

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette then asked Ferrell to sit down.

“Don’t tell me what to do. I think it’s time for a lawsuit,” Ferrell said under his breath, as he returned to his seat.

Councilman Doug Ritchie said the city does need an extensive spruce up.

“If we don’t start cleaning up this city, it’s just going to get worse,” Ritchie said.   

During other public participation, Joel Miller suggested a three-way stop sign was needed at North Border Drive, on the corner of North Border and Montgomery Street.

The council also approved a resolution canvassing the Oct. 24 elections, including the renewal of the property tax for another 10 years. Renewal of the property tax voters approved went to the city retirement fund.

Two ordinances were introduced and will face public discussion before being voted on at the Nov. 17 meeting. Ordinances included:

• Rescinding Ordinance No. 2377. That ordinance allowed the city to take over maintenance of Columbia Street from the state in a Road Transfer Program. The area in question is Louisiana Highway 3124 from the Bogalusa corporate limit proceeding  north approximately 2.75 miles to its intersection with Louisiana Highway 10, also known as Louisiana Avenue.

However, city officials believe the city is not up to the task as of yet.

• A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between Washington Parish Communications District and the City of Bogalusa. The ordinance would move some Bogalusa 911 officials out to the call center in the parish.