New start time for meetings faces opposition

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

By LEONARD GRAY-Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – A half-hour’s difference could speed up business before the St. Charles Parish Council, according to a resolution introduced Monday by Councilman G. “Ram” Ramchandran.

In an effort to conclude meetings earlier, Ramchandran suggested scheduling, on the first meeting of each month all recipients of proclamations, recognitions and memoriums at 5:30 p.m., prior to the regular 6 p.m. meeting.

Councilman Brian Fabre and Lance Marino said starting earlier could be a difficulty for council members and for recipients, making it more difficult to attend.

Parish attorney Bobby Raymond pointed out such council rule changes must be held over to the next meeting, to allow council members to review the matter properly before voting.

In other matters, the council unanimously approved allowing the Knights of Columbus Red Church Council 3634 in Norco to solicit contributions in a can shake.

The can shake is scheduled Oct. 24, 25 and 26, from noon to 6 p.m., at the intersections of Airline Drive and Apple Street, River Road and Apple Street, Ormond Boulevard and Airline, Ormond and River Road and River Road and Interstate 310.

KC Council Grand Knight Charles J. Offner, in a letter to Parish President Albert Laque, point out this time of fund-raising activity had been prohibited by state law, but that the prohibition was rescinded this year.

The new state law permits volunteer fire departments and non-profit organizations to shake cans.

Offner’s letter affirmed the KC organization does qualify and receives no United Way funds or any tax revenues, with nearly all money collected staying in St. Charles Parish to assist the Arc of St. Charles and the Special Olympics. Five percent is also used to assist a program for Down’s Syndrome teen-age boys.

The council also approved a resolution authored by Councilman Terry Authement, asking the state highway department to install signal lights at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 632 and U.S. Highway 90 in Des Allemands.

Highway 632 leads to Allemands Elementary School, a fact which led to the Sept. 3 death of a Lockport man who struck a departing school bus at the intersection, as the bus was being waved through by police and oncoming traffic had been halted.

Rep. Gary Smith, in a Sept. 12 letter to the highway department, stated: “I do not want to lie in wait until enough recorded accidents occur to do something.”

Smith added, “I urge you to have a traffic signal installed immediately and also to have that portion of Highway 90 marked as a school zone during the appropriate hours in order to slow traffic down and make drivers aware of the school.”

A similar resolution was pushed through by Authement in 2000.