DONALDSONVILLE - The Ascension Parish Council agreed Thursday to create a recreation facilities district for the west bank of the parish, the first step toward possibly seeking funding through taxes or fees for new recreational choices.
The ordinance names the council members for District 1 and District 2 — currently Oliver Joseph and Bill Dawson, respectively — and a representative to be appointed by the Donaldsonville mayor to be the commissioners for the new district, the West Ascension Recreation Facilities District No. 1.
“We’re going to engage the public in finding ways to get revenue to build new facilities,” Joseph said after the meeting. “We need a community center, a new gym, a new baseball field and stadium.”
He said the hope is, in the future, to bring to the voters a proposition on a revenue-raising measure, such as a property tax, sales tax or partial fees, to bring new facilities to the west side of the parish.
At the end of Thursday’s meeting, the parish council went into executive session to discuss an employee’s appeal of a termination.
The employee was not named.
Following the 30-minute executive session, five members voted in favor of Joseph’s motion to overturn the parish’s review board ruling to fire the employee.
Four council members voted against the motion — but overturning a review board ruling requires 8 votes of the 11-member council.
Voting to overturn the board’s ruling to fire the employee were Joseph, Daniel “Doc” Satterlee, Aaron Lawler, Teri Casso and Travis Turner.
Voting in favor of the ruling were council members Bill Dawson, Dempsey Lambert, John Cagnolatti and Randy Clouatre.
Two council members, Todd Lambert and Benny Johnson, were absent, but their votes wouldn’t have changed the outcome either way. Satterlee, however, pointed out that under the parish’s home rule charter, absent members count as ‘no’ votes in such matters.
“I find it wholly unfair,” Satterly said.
He said he would like the council to take up the issue, which would ultimately require a vote of the public to change.
Before the council’s vote on the employee matter, Turner said he doesn’t “think the lower-paid employees of the parish are treated as fairly as employees who are making more money or are at higher positions.”
After the meeting, Turner said, “The lower-level employees aren’t afforded the same opportunities.”
The process for them, he said, “always goes right straight to being fired.”
GONZALES — Having lost access to its juvenile detention center May 31, the Ascension Parish …