Mayor Disbands Christmas in the Park Commission Due to Violations

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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The City of Bogalusa has relieved all members of the Christmas in the Park Commission from their duties, effective Tuesday, August 8, 2023. The decision was announced following a comprehensive review of the commission’s activities and responsibilities.

The announcement was made in a press release by the City of Bogalusa, detailing concerns that led to this action. Department of Parks & Recreation Director Christopher L. Dudzienski authored the release.

According to the press release, commission members had extended their service beyond the term limits stipulated by the Bogalusa Code of Ordinances Sec. 2-184.

Commission members were requested to provide financial and attendee information to verify the commission’s financial status, including ticket sales. According to the city, despite multiple requests from city administration, the commission failed to produce these records, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.

Department of Parks and Recreation claims it raised significant safety concerns by revealing that various commission equipment and property, such as sheds, Christmas lights, extension cords, speakers, and other objects, were abandoned in Cassidy Park since the conclusion of the 2022 event. This equipment posed potential hazards, including exposed wires accessible to young park attendees.

The decision to disband the commission was made by the Bogalusa City Charter and Code of Ordinances Sec. 7-09(B) states that commission members “shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor.” As a result, Mayor Tyriun Truong opted to dissolve the existing commission after the public meeting on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

The City of Bogalusa formally requested that all commission-related documents, keys, equipment, and property be promptly returned to Bogalusa City Hall. The release also encouraged former members to reapply for commission positions as applications become available.