‘We have to be fair’: Baker city council debates possible ordinance to allow food trucks

The debate over food trucks within Baker was met with mixed emotions before the city council Tuesday night.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The ongoing debate over food trucks within Baker was met with mixed emotions before the city council Tuesday, May 24.

“This should hurt somebody’s heart because it’s really about to hurt mine,” Councilwoman Rochelle Dunn said.

The city’s current ordinance prevents business owners like Nancy Thomas from opening a food truck.

Thomas has fought for over a year to get this rule changed.

“Every time something goes on, they’re like, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, well what can I do,” Thomas said.

Thomas wants to run her food truck outside the thrift store she owns on Main Street, but she was told that’s against the city’s rules. Thomas was also told her food truck was an eye sore.

“Last week I was in Covington, the week before that I was in Shreveport, this week I’m in Lafayette. My business and retail store can’t flourish because I have to leave with the food truck to go make money,” Thomas said.

Councilwoman Rochelle Dunn proposed a change to the ordinance that would allow Thomas to operate on her property. Dunn also presented pictures claiming other food trucks are operating across the city with no pushback.

“Now if we’re going to be fair to one and let them do anything they want to do, we have to be fair to her also,” Dunn said.

But Councilwoman Glenda Bryant said there’s a difference between what they are doing and what Thomas wants to do.

“What’s the difference between the two? It doesn’t stay there. It moves,” Bryant said.

But Thomas argued she’s doing the same thing.

“That vendor is a rolling vendor. I’m a rolling vendor too! The difference is I can’t really roll around if I open my store,” Thomas said.

In the end, the council could not reach a majority vote to introduce the new ordinance.

“You voted us in here to move your city. You didn’t vote us in here to be doing and wasting our time doing this,” Dunn said.

Dunn said will reintroduce the ordinance at the next council meeting.

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