FRANKLIN – St. Mary Parish Councilman Scott Ramsey got into a shouting match with several members of the parish’s Parks and Recreation Board following a discussion item where he threatened to possibly remove board member Lane Boudreaux from the board.
The discussion item was brought up following a letter that Boudreaux had sent to every member of the council apart from Ramsey, alleging that the parish councilman had forced a project for a walking trail in Bayou Vista with little to no communication from the recreation board.
Several members of the board addressed the council to speak in favor of Boudreaux’s job at the board as well as his character.
Boudreaux also spoke to the council, citing his 15 years of service to the recreation board and hard work he’s put into the parks and recreation system.
“If we can’t vote freely in what we feel is best for the community, what's the point of having a board,” Boudreaux asked.
The crux of the matter seemed to be that Boudreaux and other members of the board wanted to put priority for a new roof at a Bayou Vista community center instead of spending time, money and resources on a walking trail.
“We’ve been applying for capital outlay for as long as I’ve been there for a new roof,” Boudreaux said. “We get denied every year, and you said with the money we’re going to get from capital outlay, back again it led to the walking trail. Every meeting since June has been the walking trail.”
Ramsey contested that the roof was not leaking, and that representatives had told them that other publicly owned buildings with worse roofs would take priority first.
“I didn't think we should put a hold on everything else until we got funding for the roof because five years from now we may still be trying to get funding for the roof,” Ramsey said. “I think we can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time.”
“If that's the contingency then we can pursue the walking trail,” Boudreaux answered. “But let's not stop everything for a walking trail. I see needs in every district, this trail is basically a want. We have playground equipment at the community center that all needs to be replaced.”
However, Ramsey said that walking trail would be obtained through a recreational trail grant of $100,000 that would pay for half of the project.
“The parish is going to administer this grant,” Ramsey said. “The parish will build it, and the grant program will pay the parish back. We never got this far before, you guys got riled up and put on this horse and pony show.”
Ramsey ultimately made a motion to table the issue until the “miscommunication” problem could be solved.
“I’d like to move to table this matter,” he said. “After listening to everything here we have somewhat of a misunderstanding and some people are manipulating this thing a little bit and making it bigger than it is.”