‘Have a seat,’ Gonzales mayor gestures to newest council member: David Guitreau again serving on interim basis _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELLYN COUVILLION - David Guitreau, interim Gonzales city councilman, was sworn in Jan. 25, 2016.

Almost a year after the first time he stepped in as an interim Gonzales city councilman, local contractor David Guitreau was once again sworn in to fill an empty seat on the council.

Judge Alvin Turner Jr., of the 23rd Judicial District Court, administered the oath of office at Monday night’s council meeting. Guitreau is filling the seat left vacant after former councilman Kenny Matassa was sworn into office as Ascension Parish president.

Matassa was on hand for Guitreau’s swearing-in, as were state Rep. Johnny Berthelot, R-Gonzales, Ascension Parish Assessor Mert Smiley and Parish Councilman John Cagnolatti.

“Have a seat,” Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said to Guitreau after the brief ceremony.

Last January, Guitreau filled the unexpired term of former councilman Gary Lacombe, who had resigned in November 2014.

Guitreau was on the council for about a month before Neal Bourque became councilman for the seat, when he was unopposed in a special election.

This time, Guitreau will serve as interim councilman for the remainder of 2016.

Gonzales City Council elections will be held on Nov. 8 this year, with run-offs to be held Dec. 10.

“A special election is only called if more than 18 months is left in a term. Otherwise, the appointed replacement serves out the term,” said Meg Casper, press secretary for the Secretary of State’s Office.

Also on Monday, the City Council approved rezoning for a longtime, family-owned business, Marchand’s Interior and Hardware, so it can expand its business on North Alexander Avenue, east of Burnside.

The existing Marchand’s store is zoned commercial retail and the council on Monday approved the same zoning for adjacent property, owned by the family, that was previously zoned business.

The Marchand family plans an 8,000-square-foot expansion of the store that opened in 1949 and has expanded several times since then.