Newspaper Archive of
The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
January 2, 1986     The Ponchatoula Times
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January 2, 1986

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Happy r00ew T ear Thursday, January 2, 1986--5th Year, Number 14 Subscrlberspayhalfprlce . ,- And get free home delivery! " Seecoupo n- Page Two THE P ON'CHA TO-ULA TIMES so o Good grades at P. H.S. pay off, thanks to local stores Staff Report It pays to make good grades at Poncha- toula High School. Starting with the most recently released Ponchatoula High School Honor Roll (published in this week's edition of this newspaper), students bringing home a report card with A's and B's, or all A's. will be given a special 10 percent discount on goods and services offered for sale in Ponc hatoula. Those receiving alI-A report cards will be presented with a tree subscription to The Ponchatoula Times in addition to their speciil Ponchatoula discount. The "Making Good Grades Pays" promotion is sponsored by The Poncha- toula Times in cooperation with partici- pating Ponchatoula merchants. If the idea proves successful the program will be expanded to include other schools. "I think it's a good idea," said P.H.S. Principal A.J. Bodker. "Maybe more students will try just a little harde to make the honor roll to receive the special discounts." Eddie Ponds, a Ponchatoula High School teacher and a staff reporter at The Times covering the City Hall beat, will be in charge of the promotion he suggested and helped develop. Under the program s guidelines, those eligible for what amounts to cash awards for good grades will be Poncha- toula High School students whose names appear on the official honor roll. either the A-B honor roll or the all-A either for themselves or as a gift. The Ponchatoula Times will periodically list all the merchants participating in the program. Merchants interested in parti- cipating should call 386-2877. Suggested discounts for those interested are at least 10 percent off either selected items or, if the merchant is willing, a storewide discount. "When Mr. Ponds first suggested the idea, it immediately met with the approval of the entire Times staff." honor roll. Students will be removed from the discount list if they fail to stay on the honor roll. The list will be updated to include students as they make the honor roll. Students will need to show identifi- cation when they are claiming their discounts at local stores. Merchants will have the honor rolls on hand to check eligibility. Those making the alI-A honor rolls should stop by the office of The Ponchatoula Times, 167 East Pine. to register for their free o_nne-v_r ul;riptLon,_. commented Bryan T. McMahon, editor and "publisher. "This is a solid oppor- tunity done, and to give local scholars an immediate sense of what it can mean to obtain the best education possible." Those businesses already contacted by The Times who immediately joined the program and are currently offering a wide array of gifts and discounts to the honor roll students include: The Poncha toula Times, Hardy's Ace Hardware, Olde Town Shoppe, Appearances, The Rainbow Shop, Aw Shucks, Aunt Jean's Restaurant, Craft Box and Quave's Furniture. Other businesses who would like to Mayor, council fireworks expected at special meeting for the newspaper and the participate in this worthwhile program business community to boost Poncha- to encourage scholarship are invited to toula education, to reward work well PLEASE SEE PAGE FOURTEEN By BRYAN T. McMAHON Editor & Publisher Mayor Charles Gideon said that at least one city councilman is "trying to take over the city" by pushing through a city ordinance at a special city council meeting called for 7 p.m. Monday, December 28. The ordinance in question was first introduced by Councilman Dave Perkins. It sharply limits the powers of the mayor in the areas of hiring, firing, discipline, and basic administration and makes him answerable to the council. A new state law, the revision of the old Lawrason Act governing Louisiana municipal governments, takes affect .New Years Day. It greatly strengthens the powers of Louisiana mayors, makes them the administrators of their cities, strips administrative power from city councils, making them solely legislative bodies in charge of the city's purse strings. "We have here a city councilman (Perkins) who is trying to take over the city. I just wish he had the courage to run for mayor," stormed Gideon. "This is personal. He doesn't want me to be t mayor• But I don't want his personal problems to cause the city to suffer for years to come." Of the new state law Gideon says the council will be asked to negate by passing Perkins' ordinance at Monday's special meeting, the mayor said: "Representative Dennis Hebert voted for it. Representative Weldon Russell (also of Tangipahoa Parish) was co- sponsor of the bill (to strengthen the powers of Louisiana mayors). It passed the legislature overwhelmingly and was signed into law by the governor." Of Perkins' ordinance making the mayor answerable to the city council, Gideon said: "The city won't tolerate it, the law won't tolerate it, and the legislature won't tolerate it. if I cannot appeal to the council add this ordinance passes Monday night I will take this to the highest court. If this ordinance passes, the mayor of Ponchatoula would have less power than at any time in Poncha- toula's history. No mayor could live under this. "How can you be the administrator without being able to hire and fire? It is hard for me to believe these men want Twice a victim • The innocent victim of crime, Ponchatoula s Mike Sterling lost a leg, lost the use of his other leg, and had his back broken. The story of how this paraplegic is now in danger of losing his family home despite efforts by Sheriff J. Edward Layrisson and his staff to come to his aid is the subject of a special report in the next edition of The Ponchatoula Times. (Times Photo) • • • • • eoos Qes eseo oeeso • • ase es • • • • • ee • • eoee eooooooooeeoeo • eeeeooeoo • oo oee • eseee • eeeo • .: NEW YEARS EVE .. : • • • • • • : • s Q • • • • " at Aw • . Special menu of fine food ." 4J/oeoeomoo•ooooooooooetoooooooeo ooeeo • e•e• m ooeeooeooeooeooe eeoeo Dances and parties advertised in this issue CREOLE at Stun Cowen's Blue Room Dancing, BYOL, $25 per couple at St. Jose00 Gym Dancing, BYOL, $25 per couple this kind of power. They want to super- sede state law. They are basically trying to pass a form of a home rule charter without a vote of the people• It's not just me it will affect. It's the mayors who will follow me. If they (the council members in favor of Perkins' proposqd ordinance) want it (the mayor's office and power. they ought to run for it. "I would like to invite everyone to come to that meeting 7 p.m. Monday, December 30 at City Hall to see one councilman trying to take over the city," said the mayor. Perkins stands firm against mayor By EDDIE PONDS Times Reporter The boundaries of a dispute currently raging between the Ponchatoula mayor and city council could have been staked off in a December 5 letter to Mayor Charles Gideon from the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) informing him of the changes in city government to be brought about under Act 890 of the 1985 legislative sesson, which goes into effect January 1, 1986. Act 890 revised several provisions of the Lawrason Act which governs how Louisiana municipal governments must function. The law was drastically revised by the recent legislature to give mayors executive powers formerly shared with city councils. According to the LMA letter signed by James C. Percy, deputy director of LMA, the city council is required to enact wo ordinances: • One is an ordinance establishing how notice of a special meeting of the board will be provided to members of the board. • The other is an ordiances establishing policies and procedures regulating the employment of municipal employees. But the council's response came Decernber 12 in the form of an ordinance proposed by Councilman Ddve Pe/x$:, Cdir,a,ce 366, .which the mayor says took him by surprise. The mayor says he disagrees with the proposed ordinance because it provides for the city council having a say in the administrative procedures of the city, especially the hiring and firing of city employees. "The new (state) law makes the mayor the administrative head of the city and the council the legislative body," Gideon said. He also said, "The mayor would have complete authority in all personeil matters, including hiring and firing, except where an elected official heads a departments." Perkins had countered this argument: "The state law allows the council to adopt the policy and procedure for hiring and firing municipal employees." Gideon said that when he asked Perkins if this ordinancews discussed with the city attorney, Perkins replied, "No, I discussed it with a Baton Rouge attorney and former-City Attorney Allen Pierson," according to Gideon. At the recent special meeting of the council, Perkins insisted, "This ordinance wasn't introduced with animosity toward you," speaking to the mayor. "I'm not sure of that," Gideon said. "1 don't think you want to let me be an administrator. I am not an administrator if you have the last word." Gideon then challenged Perkins, "Ask our city attorney," indicating Robert Troyer. Troyer said, "I haven't had a chance to review this document, however I'd be delighted to review both ordinances." "It would seem that an employee who is fired would have a right to a hearing before the council," said Councilman-At-Large Julian Dufreche. "You may be right," said Troyer. "I'm (expletive deleted) well correct," rejoined the councilman. Acting the familiar part of peacemaker Counciman "Gramps" Fitzmorris said, "1 would like a work session for the council to iron out any wrinkles associated with the proposed ordiance, and to the model ordinance submitted by LMA." He also said, "I feel it was the intent of the legislature that the city council be the legislative body, adopting policy to be carried out by the mayor." The proposed ordinance is expected to be adopted at a special meeting 7 p.m. Monday night, a meeting originally scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday morning, a time when Councilman Fitzmorris had to be at work. LIONS' PRIDE Local historian knows city's story By BRYAN T. McMAHON "Curiosity leads to history, and history raises questions that lead to philosophy," says local historian Milburn Fletcher. The Thibodeaux Road native is this week's honored senior citizen, presented with the Lions' Pride award by the Ponchatoula Lions Club to recognize his contribution to our com- munity. A "World War I baby" born in 1919, delivered by Dr. E.J. Kevlin, Fletcher says, "1 had a keyhole view of the Great Depression...As children we were immune to such problems. But my father's brow remained furrowed for several years." Fletcher was raised a mile and a half from his current North Thibodeaux Road residence, the third generation on that land. His father was both a farmer and a leader of farmers on the state and local levels, serving as president of Ponchatoula Farm Bureau, head of the state cooperative, chairman o the state Strawberry Marketing Commission, among several important posts. But though the Fletchers had been rooted in the rich soil east of Poncha- toula since before the Civil War, Fletcher's father had a love of history that expanded his knowledge of the world and prompted him to make a present of H.G. Wells' famous world history to his son at an early age. In those days of his youth Milburn Honoree Fletcher reports there was no Thibodeaux Road as we kn it today, "just a meandering woods bail which kept to the high spots along the river and went all the way to Amite following the river. The modern road was built on a section line west of the rivet," he said. And who would dispute him? History PLEASE SEE PAGE FOURTEEN ! MY PONCHATOULA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator Ah, the start of a new year. Can you just imagine what it will bring? . My Ponchatoula can count on just one sure thing, 12 months, 52 weeks, 360 days of endless surprises (Look over your shoulder at old '85 if you doubt your gator's word). First we'll have the Ponchatoula winter, a time when the gator pond gets downright icey and City Hall heats to the point where the berry on the roof wants to turn to jelly (! predict the longest mayor's campaign in city history will continue on through 1986). By Spring Ponchatoula should have enough cable strung from every conceivable utility pole to make the city look like a giant Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians. By year's end how many vidiots will we have here? How many will turn away from their last Star Trek rerun, find the Off button on their vidiot box, and actually launch an expedition to discover the Poncha- toula Branch Library? How many Christmas Transformers, Optimus Primes, and Voltrons will still have all their parts? How many Christmas ring recipients will be gracing the center isles of my city's churches heading for the altar and marriage? My the wedding bells of My Ponchatoula set up a clamor to deafen New Orleans and Baton Rouge both (all these single people walking the streets make me downright nervous). Summer will come in sizzling hot, but not for the gentility of the balcony being built above my cramped pond (I've got a feeling we'll soon see why John and his bride called their pub Atop The Gator once the big project gets started). I wonder if ! could arrange for a slide built from the balcony into my pond where troublesome patrons could be launched into a whole new life- style - as dinner items on my menu. (Don't go starting a Red Headed League Pevey-style until the last nail is pounded, John!) Autumn will dawn without Henry Powell on the gridiron, but with a seasoned senior bending over the backsides of the center. Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah! And before you know it here we will be back again at the end of another year. Will your gator be filling you in by then on the naked truth as it is, was,. and will always be, from some swank penthouse suite with hot and cold running pond water, a little swamp foliage and a place to duck in out of the weather and enjoy m y ducks The last i heard my simple zoo cage that was almost about to be built a year ago was back on the drawing boards and some inspired soul was trying to fit a fountain into the plan. Hoo Boy! One thing for sure, one year from now your whole human race will be on tiny notch advanced on old Mr. Darwin's evolutionary plan, which is good news because it will mean you're that much closer to blossuming from your current tadpole condition Into full-fledged reptiles, it may take a few centuries, but one day you will all have strong tails to help you swim through the swamps, you'll all live in enery efficient homes like the gator dens of all my relatives, your skin will toughen up and develop into beauti- ful supple green leather capable of warding off all kinds of bad weather, ! you'll grow full jaws of razor sharp teeth that will never need to see the drill bit of a Mike Haight or a Melvin Allen, you'll be great sportsmen and 1 predict the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited will greatly expand its member- ship when you finally blossum into full-fledged alligators. So take heart, you're one more year closer to full development. 1'!1 tell you who's almost there already, the great kids in the Burdett family. They'd make any gator proud! They won the giant Christmas stocking being raffled off by One Stop Floor Covering, a totally unexpected windfall of fancy toys, skates, stuffed animals, you name it (everything but fresh chickens for Christmas snacking), it was every kids dream. But the Burdett kids figured they'ld have trouble dreaming about sugar plums and such knowing that there were kids in My Ponchatoula who would wake up to nothing more than a cold floor Christmas morning. So they set out with Gina their great mum to find the children of the poor in Ponchatoula so they could give all their toys away. Every time you get disappointed .with someone in My Ponchatoula, just think of those Burdett kids and it will stop you from diving under the pond water. Will sorfleone please tell me what Mrs. Baseball was doing climbing up into the cab of that 18 wheeler. Was she bringing baseballs north, or heading for spring training in Florida a few months early? (You can touch all the bases you want, Miss Margie, just don t forget to sl.__.ide home). • .. PLEASE pAGE FOUR