Calling in to Save Gonzales

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
The SaveGonzales group has been doing all it can to get the required signatures needed to oust two city councilmen. Bill Landry is pictured calling in to others who may be interested in signing.

June 7 put the SaveGonzales recall petition effort group to oust councilmen Gary Lacombe and Tim Vessel past the 45-day mark of the 180-day period to get the nearly 2,200 signatures.

Just being past a quarter of the way through in time, the group has collected about a third of the signatures needed, and are about 350 signatures away from 1,000, according to Fred Shumate, Consultant with Magellan Strategies.

“Signature-wise we’re well past pace, we’re out pacing that [number mark],” Shumate said. “The problem is staying on that pace.”

Jimmy Boyce is not a resident in the City of Gonzales, but he owns businesses in the city. Boyce said the group was set back some with Memorial Day, the Flood of 2014, the Jambalaya Festival and graduations. But he is confident the group will make a big push to get it done.

“The city has never been run this way,” Boyce said. “We have never voted against jobs ever, ever, ever. I’m a jobs guy. Every kid coming out of that high school and these other schools, what do they need? They need jobs.”

Boyce said he understands retails bring the city money but “it doesn’t come first.”

“This is putting the cart before the horse,” Boyce said. “It’s too much politics. Now they want to cut the police department, is crime going down in town all of a sudden? Not that I know of. That’s why I feel so strongly about it. They didn’t do one little thing, because of course politicians are going to do things you don’t like, it’s just a pile of them and it doesn’t stop.”

However getting the task done to oust Lacombe and Vessel hasn’t been easy Boyce said.

“It’s not an easy process. We’re doing well with the signatures it’s just an actual physical grind,” Boyce said. “People don’t come beating down the door to sign. You have to go to them to. Two thousand and two hundred signatures is a lot of houses to go to so it’s grueling.”

Boyce added, “I wish these guys would just do what’s right for the city and I wouldn’t even know what’s going on.”

SaveGonzales Co-Chairman Chuck LeBlanc said probably 90 to 95 percent of the public knows what’s going on at City Hall, but the group presents to them the real facts and they sign it.

“We don’t lie about the facts,” LeBlanc said, “We don’t force them or threaten them.”

LeBlanc added, “We feel like we’re doing a good job it just takes time. It’s a tedious task and we have to stay with it. We’re just trying to do what’s best for the City of Gonzales.”