Recall petitions filed against Ascension Parish council members

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Organizers hold a recall signing event at the Village Market and Deli on July 22.

Momentum has been building for recall groups attempting to oust six members of the 11-member Ascension Parish Council.

Recall organizers have utilized both social media and in-person events to rally residents to sign petitions to recall Teri Casso, Corey Orgeron, Dempsey Lambert, Aaron Lawler, John Cagnolatti, and Dal Waguespack.

Organizers have filed recall documents for Casso, who serves as chair, and Orgeron, who is serving his first term. The groups have been working on filing papers for the remaining four.

Group members have expressed frustration with the council's actions, particularly in addressing flooding and infrastructure issues. They also point to the disagreeable relationship between some members of the council and the parish president's administration. 

The groups previously met at the VFW Hall in Gonzales to organize the campaigns. This came following the council's vote to oust President Clint Cointment as director of the East Ascension Drainage Board, and the controversial decision to implement a nine-month moratorium on new development instead of Cointment's plan for a year.

By law, organizers have six months to gather signatures of one-third of voters in each council district.

If met, the parish's clerk of court would have to certify it. Then, a special election could be called by the governor within 15 days of receiving the certified petition.

Late in the week, the Casso and Orgeron recall groups scheduled signing events at business parking lots and residences in the area.

Daniel "Doc" Satterlee, a former Ascension Parish Council member, poses as he signs the recall.

The Recall Corey Orgeron and Recall Teri Casso Facebook pages featured drone video of residents signing under a pop-up tent.

Donna Jones, the vice chair for the Orgeron recall, thanked Village Market and Deli for allowing the group to host a signing event in parking lot. She said hundreds of citizens stopped to sign, and more events are planned.