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Ascension Parish residents file petitions to recall parish council members

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT
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GONZALES, La. (WAFB) - It’s been two months since Roxanne Berteau’s yard flooded, but her yard has yet to dry out.

She said she’s frustrated with the lack of action by her council member.

A rain-soaked summer in Ascension Parish, now laying the groundwork for homeowners to take action.

“This is ongoing and it’s getting worse and getting worse, and all they keep doing is adding more and more developments,” said Berteau.

She has lived in Gonzales her whole life, and after the May 17 flood, she attended her first parish drainage board meeting, because she finally reached her breaking point.

“People have their problems and when you see people that are in the government that you’re getting ignored by, that did it, that completely did it,” Berteau said.

She joined other frustrated residents in efforts to recall council member Teri Casso over her decision to vote for the 9-month moratorium, instead of the year-long one.

Casso also voted to remove parish president Clint Cointment from his position on the drainage board.

Which petition organizer Brenda Whitney said she is upset over.

“I want them to pay attention to what the people are saying. Stop ignoring us,” Whitney said.

Whitney hopes the petitions send a message to other parish council members.

“If we succeed with three or four out of the six, hopefully, the ones that we have pursued but weren’t successful with understand that we’re not playing around anymore,” Whitney said.

We spoke to Casso over Zoom, and she said she has been trying to listen to her constituents.

“They all have my number, and they are welcome to call me and they do,” Casso said.

She adds that she understands people are upset with the drainage issues and development, but she is doing what she can.

“It was an unfortunate act of God, and I don’t know how to fix it without a major regional fix and that is something one councilman in Ascension can’t accomplish,” Casso said.

Casso said it’s not an easy job.

But Gonzales residents like Berteau hope something can be done soon.

“And we are slowly turning into a lake, is what we’re doing, I have nothing to leave to my daughter, my granddaughter,” Berteau said.

Residents in Ascension Parish are also organizing petitions for five other council members.

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