City holds its first 2018 meeting

Published 4:29 am Friday, January 5, 2018

As part of a presentation, Omika Bickham, founder of the Southeast Autism Enrichment Center, told the Bogalusa City Council Tuesday that 44 percent of all children fall into the “autism spectrum,” and that autism affects each child differently.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Bogalusa City Council, Bickham also said a diagnosis of autism is 10 times higher than it was a generation ago. Bickham said her goal is to provide a close-to-home treatment center for her child and others like him.

After Bickham spoke, the council unanimously adopted a resolution to amend Resolution No. 1455, to revise the order of business in Bogalusa City Council meetings. Tamira Smith and Scott Ard were absent at Tuesday’s meeting.

A second resolution, which would have would have established sanctions to compel attendance by council members at meetings, was tabled. A sub-committee of the council, comprised of Teddy Drummond, Brian McCree, and Doug Ritchie, plans to research the issue and come up with council-specific appropriate sanctions. They will have 60 days to do the job.

“I don’t think there’s a need to do a resolution,” Ritchie said during the discussion. “It’s already in effect.”

Council president Gloria Kates said the resolution was written in 1983, but it is unclear how the resolution deals with council members who do shift work, or whose family members are seriously ill.

The council also introduced an ordinance that would authorize the mayor to accept Victor Robinson’s bid on a surplus property from Ordinance No. 2545. The public hearing on that issue will take place at the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 5:30 p.m.

Bogalusa Fire Chief Richard Moody reported that there had been three structure fires two shed fires, two vehicle fires, 68 medical assist calls, 23 citizen assist calls, four natural gas/power lines calls, and 13 false alarms in the city during December.

Moody urged residents to be safe during the cold weather.

“Learn what to do and what not to do in the cold,” he said. “Don’t ever use a blow torch on frozen pipes.”

Bogalusa Police Chief Kendall Bullen then gave his report for December and for all of last year. In December, the BPD received 1,230 complaints and made 140 arrests, 16 for felonies and two for DWI, he said.

Bullen said during 2017, the BPD received 15,226 complaints and made 2,629 arrests, 277 for felonies and 37 for DWI.

Mayor Wendy Perrette said, “2018 is going to be a great year,” after she told those in attendance, “If you’re sick we appreciate you not coming to the meetings.”

Many of the council members wished everyone a safe and Happy New Year. Also, Kates thanked the public works department, the BFD, and the BPD for responding when a “huge” sinkhole opened on Redmond and Davis streets on Christmas Eve. She said the sinkhole measured about eight-by-five feet and was two feet deep. Kates also thanked the public works department for starting the roof work on the Poplas Quarters Recreation Center.