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Council wants TV trouble addressed

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / October 21, 1998

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish cable customers who try to watch theParish Council meetings have complained for years about the frequent absence of sound in the Cox Cable broadcasts.

At Monday’s meeting the Parish Council took action, asking Parish President Chris Tregre to address the problem with Cox and the Emergency Operations Department. The EOD monitors the broadcasting link from thegovernment access channel to Cox Cable.

Frequent council critic Stanford Caillouet attempted to hit the nail on the head when he commented the most common problem is council members who forget to flip the microphone switch on when speaking.

“Why spend money to upgrade the system when you don’t upgrade the people using the system?” Caillouet asked.

Tregre, to an extent, agreed with Caillouet, and added the system has been repeatedly checked and repaired when necessary.

“The biggest problem is the sound,” Tregre said, noting that during nearly every committee meeting, “no one has their switch turned on.”He added he would get the system checked out and repaired.

Tim Fanguy of Cox Cable, monitoring the taping of the council meeting, said Cox gets complaints “all the time” and pointed out one camera in the council chamber was not in operation.

Parish Councilman Ellis Alexander suggested a microphone system the council members cannot flip on and off, while Terry Authement suggested a study of the St. Charles School Board’s system, which appears to workmore consistently.

Alexander offered to withdraw his ordinance demanding the replacement and upgrade of the broadcast system, saying the point of it was to get Tregre’s attention, but the motion failed in a 4-4 vote, with Dickie Duhe, Barry Minnich, Curtis Johnson and Ellis Alexander voting for the withdrawal.

Voting against withdrawing the ordinance were Bill Sirmon, Brian Champagne, Terry Authement and Ron Phillips, with G. “Ram” Ramchandranabsent.

The vote to approve the motion was favorable, 5-3, with Duhe joining the other four.

In other matters, the Parish Council sustained Tregre’s veto of an ordinance reconstituting the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which was approved 7-2 at the Oct. 5 meeting and vetoed four days later.Tregre pointed out a newly-submitted ordinance is up for council consideration at the Nov. 2 meeting which addressed his concerns listed inhis veto message, and said he would support it.

The new ordinance, if approved, would redesign the ZBA along district lines, with the full council voting on appointees from each council member. At present, the ZBA has three members from St. Rose, three fromLuling, one from Paradis and no appointees from elsewhere in the parish.

However, as Tregre pointed out, that makeup was approved by the Parish Council itself as they approved each appointment.

The veto was upheld by a 7-1 vote, with Champagne voting against it.

Also, St. Charles Rotary Club President Wayne L. Smith was honored as”Mr. Alligator,” as the annual Alligator Festival approaches on Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Boutte at the traditional U.S. Highway 90 site in Coronado Park.A resolution recognizing the opening of the River Road Museum at Shell Refinery, Norco, was also approved. Grand openings will be held Oct. 27-29.

Also, a resolution in recognition of Red Ribbon Week was presented to Bernadine Williams, Drug-Free Schools Coordinator for St. Charles ParishSchools.

Finally, the Parish Council voted to seek site proposals for a new parish library branch in St. Rose and also officially thanked the people ofAvoyelles Parish for their hospitality during the mandatory evacuation of Hurricane Georges.

Tregre said 250 evacuees from St. Charles Parish were transported to thecentral Louisiana parish, with many more using their own transportation.

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