GONZALES — A proposal to recall Gonzales City Councilman Timothy Vessel will be on the ballot Dec. 6, alongside that of his fellow Councilman Gary Lacombe.
On Wednesday, the Ascension Parish Registrar of Voters Robert Poché announced that 2,188 signatures on the petition to recall Vessel had been verified; a minimum of 2,145 signatures, representing one-third of the voters in Gonzales, needed to be verified to bring the matter to a vote.
Last week, on the recall petition against Councilman Lacombe, 2,281 signatures were verified by the registrar of voters office.
All five members of the council are elected at-large.
Chuck LeBlanc, chairman of the recall effort launched in April against the two councilmen by a group of residents called SaveGonzales, said the volunteers with the recall effort will be encouraging residents to get out and vote for the proposals in December.
“We are not quitting now. We’re just getting started,” LeBlanc said. “We will be going back house to house, passing out handouts, talking to them, just saturating the area.”
Vessel could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The effort to recall Lacombe and Vessel was launched, in large part, because of the councilmen’s repeated votes against proposed zoning changes.
The two councilmen and Councilman Terance Irvin regularly vote in a three-man bloc on the five-member council.
As the registrar of voters did for the recall petition against Lacombe last week, Poché said he’ll be hand-delivering the petition against Vessel to the governor’s office this week.
The governor issues an election proclamation for a recall within 15 days of receiving the certified petition, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
If voters approve a recall, the public official has nine days after the election to contest it. A vacated office is filled until a special election is called to fill the seat.
In August, a new state law took effect, Act 690, that prohibits a public official recalled from office for qualifying for the same office in the special election called to fill the position.