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Toomer wants items on agenda

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com

Although city council members unanimously voted in favor of all items on the agenda at Ponchatoula's city meeting Monday night, one issue was raised near the gathering's end.

Council Member Melvin Toomer expressed disappointment with the absence from the agenda of a bill he requested be introduced at the meeting. He wanted to propose, based on a state attorney general's opinion, letting city council members place items on city meeting agendas.

Currently, only the mayor has the ability to add items to the agenda.

"I wasn't elected to come up here to go along, just to get along," Toomer said. "The mayor, when he does something, I give him credit for it. When he doesn't, I speak my piece about it. I'm disappointed with him right now. I put in a request to have an item put on the agenda. The mayor refused to put that item on the agenda."

Toomer has made this request previously, and he ended his remarks with a request that Zabbia include it on the next meeting's agenda. Zabbia did not address Toomer's request and did not speak to him about the matter in the council chambers at the meeting's end.

"It's been on the agenda twice before," Zabbia said after the meeting. "I control the agenda by law. I've never refused to put anything on the agenda that I considered valid."

Zabbia excluded the attorney general's opinion from the agenda due to previous multiple failures to receive council approval, he added.

Toomer said he also took issue with the fact that the introduction of a zoning issue on the agenda which was requested by a non-elected official was included while his requested item was not.