PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - The recall effort of Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter is alive and on Tuesday, will be in the hands of the first of what would be a series of state officials.
Port Allen residents started getting signatures for the recall petition on June 7, 2013.
They need 1,273 and so far, they have more than 1,400.
At the heart of it, is the controversy over Mayor Slaughter.
"We're having things happen for the first time in the city of Port Allen that has never happened before," said lifelong Port Allen resident Bennett Saia.
Saia is not referring to the drama at the city council meetings. Instead, he said the things happening inside city government since Mayor Slaughter took over are taking a toll on many on the west side.
"She's not following correct procedures, and that's a reason why we want to see something different done," said Saia.
While many in Port Allen are working towards trying to make a change, there are those who support the mayor. But even the two split sides have found a common ground.
"It's something I've never seen or experienced," said Beverly Johnson, also a lifelong Port Allen resident.
Johnson is specifically referring to the drama at the council meetings.
The two said the issues really started with Mayor Slaughter's trip to Washington D.C. when President Barrack Obama was inaugurated.
"Right off the bat, she lost all her trust and all her honestly with the citizens," said Saia.
"While Saia said that's when things started going downhill, Johnson looks at it as that's when some of the council members and mayor started having their disagreements, disagreements Johnson said have kept the mayor from doing her job.
"If she's given a chance to just prove what she campaigned about, she has to be given a chance to do so," said Johnson.
Since Mayor Slaughter took office, six city employees have resigned, some of whom were there for years under numerous mayors. The city's current 2013-2014 operating budget that went into effect July 1st, has yet to be voted on. Plus, there are all the court proceedings with two different lawsuits, one with CFO Audrey McCain and another with three council members.
"As far as what she has done or what has been said she has done, I don't have a comment upon that. The only comment I have is that one should be given a chance to prove his or herself," said Johnson.
"If a black mayor or white mayor wins, that's not the biggest concern. The biggest concern is if the person in office can do the job, and for the past five months, we've seen she can't do the job," said Saia.
The two said it's not a race issue for Port Allen, but Saia said he signed the recall petition the first day. Johnson however said that petition was not the right thing to do. Both said they are hoping for a change in some way.
"I hope to see Port Allen come together and work with Mayor Slaughter," said Johnson.
"I've been living here my entire life. However, I have just built a new home five years ago with the intent of staying here the rest of my life. I do not want to move, but yes, if things do get bad enough, that is something we would have to consider," said Saia.
The petition is expected to be dropped off to the Port Allen Registrar of Voters at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3rd.
The Registrar then has 15 days to verify they have the required 1,273 signatures. It then heads to Governor Bobby Jindal, who also has 15 days to call the recall election.
The deadline to make the Nov. 16th election is Oct. 1st.