200914-DS-council

PITCHING IN- Tangipahoa Parish Litter Coordinator Ginger Tastet and Downtown Director Faith Allen tell Ponchatoula City Council about the Trash Dash event, a creative effort to get trash off the street across the parish. 

For council members wanting to add items to the official agenda, the discussion will have to wait. 

In a 3-2 count at the Ponchatoula City Council meeting Monday night, the motion to override Mayor Bob Zabbia's veto against allowing council members to add items to the agenda fell a vote shy. To override the mayor's veto, the council needed four of the five council votes, Zabbia said. 

"The Lawrason Act grants that as a duty of the mayor as well as providing public input," Zabbia said about why it should be solely the mayor's duty to add agenda items. "I have denied certain items on the agenda, as I did for tonight, but three items were denied at the request of council people."

Councilwoman Melissa Gueldner was the most vocal proponent for amending the rule to give council members power to add agenda items. 

"It will only add and it will not take away," Gueldner said of the proposal. "Everyone I've ever spoken to about this was in favor it with exception of a handful of people from City Hall."

Gueldner also suggested that the discussion for term limits should be on the table if city government did not want to open itself up to the "vast majority" of citizens.

Councilman Melvin Toomer also spoke in favor of adding agenda items and said on the record that he would like the vote to be reintroduced at a later date. Toomer and Councilman Vergil Sandifer joined Gueldner in the vote to override the veto. 

Though there was some debate over the issue, comments were kept civil and the meeting wrapped through its items in a duration of around a half hour.

The following stops were approved for four-way stop signs: East Beech and North 3rd Street, East Pecan and South 5th, and East Oak and South 2nd. 

Tangipahoa Parish Litter Coordinator Ginger Tastet and Downtown Director Faith Allen spoke to the council about the Trash Dash initiative to clean strategic areas across Tangipahoa Parish on Saturday at 7 a.m.

All council members wore masks and provided hand sanitizer in the session. About 15 residents attended the meeting. Attendees and council people sat in distanced seats. 

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