Gonzales mayor vetoes capital outlay budget again, says he will approve general fund budget

Gonzales mayor vetoes capital outlay budget again, says he will approve general fund budget


The mayor of Gonzales has once again vetoed the city's capital outlay budget, but has decided to move ahead with the general fund budget.

"We've been four months now that we've waited on the 2% cost of living (raise) for our employees," Mayor Barney Arceneaux said after making the announcement. "They've been very good about it. I've not heard one thing from one employee, but I felt like – and the other two councilmen of course – felt like it was time to move on with that." 

Arceneaux has clashed with councilmen Gary Lacombe, Timothy Vessel and Terance Irvin over the past four months regarding funding for the Police Department and Ascension Economic Development Corporation. The trio voted to strip the capital outlay budget of money for nine new police cars.

“I'm a big proponent of public safety and I'm continuing to believe that public safety is number one, and so it wasn't really a hard decision for me. I think that we certainly need those police cars,” Arceneaux said.

Chief Sherman Jackson stood behind Arceneaux during Wednesday's press conference.

“The equipment that I'm asking for isn't out of the blue, it's historically met as a need that we just have to have. That's our first line of transportation is our units,” Jackson said. “I think I've got plenty more fight left in me, and my job is to represent the people. The people put me here. It's my job to let them know, ‘Hey, we need our cars to do our jobs.'”

Arceneaux said he hopes to eventually restore funding that will now be cut from the Ascension Economic Development Corporation.

“I've talked to the director. The director totally understands what we're doing and why we're doing it, and of course he's in hopes that later down the line we can just bring the budget back and we can get some more funding for those folks as well,” he said.

That's a reference to the current recall effort against Lacombe and Vessel. If successful, a new council could re-introduce the general fund budget and make changes.

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