Organizers say Gonzales recall petition has required signatures

Organizers say Gonzales recall petition has required signatures

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Organizers of the SaveGonzales petition effort to recall two Gonzales council members told WAFB Thursday the group has the signatures required to submit the petition to the Ascension Parish Registrar of Voters. The organized effort is to recall Gonzales Councilmen Gary Lacombe and Timothy Vessel Senior.

"We feel very comfortable with the number we have," said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc is the chairman of SaveGonzales and says each petition to recall Lacombe and Vessel already has the state required 2,145 signatures or just over one-third of the registered voters in the city.

"We're fighting the planning and zoning commission at every turn. Not only that, the budget and stuff like that. We can't get anything accomplished and it's not the way city government should run," added LeBlanc.

LeBlanc points to a city budget that is nearly three months overdue and several zoning denials made by the council to companies hoping to expand in Gonzales as reasons for the recall effort. LeBlanc says Lacombe and Vessel, along with fellow Councilman Terance Irvin, have routinely blocked economic progress in Gonzales and adds the city's growth does not match up with Ascension Parish's annual growth of more than six percent annually, the most in Louisiana.

"Everything that they have voted on and that has gone in front of the council is not for the betterment of this city or the people that voted to put them in there," said LeBlanc.

He and other members of the SaveGonzales effort believe removing Lacombe and Vessel from office will make the difference but he adds he can live with the results if the two men are not recalled.

"I will be disappointed that we did not complete our job, but I will feel that we've done all we could to get it done," said LeBlanc.

If the needed signatures on the petition are verified by the Ascension Parish Registrar of Voters by the first week of October, they will be submitted to the Louisiana Secretary of State. If the state gives approval, the question to recall both Lacombe and Vessel will be on the December ballot.

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