Time to come together


The battle at Gonzales City Hall between Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Kirk Boudreaux and Kenny Matassa; and Terance Irvin, Timothy Vessel, Sr. and Gary Lacombe reminds me of brawls that my big brother and I would get into with each other when we were about seven and eight years old.

At that time we both knew a little bit about fighting, but with him being older and bigger he would always get the upper hand in the end. When I first think about the budget battles, the petition recalls, and the accusations that have been made at City Hall I see a family feud that’s gone too long. Now, we’ve let outsiders in our family problems and have become the Monday night showdown.

Both sides agree they don’t want to see their “great city with a black eye” but I haven’t seen either refrain from throwing blows. I hear words being used completely out of context to make the other side appear worst, I see sarcastic facial expressions even when an agreement is made, and worst of all there are decisions being made that’ll directly affect the citizens.

When my brother and I would fist fight at home when no cousins or friends were there the battles didn’t last long. And, not long after we were back pals again. But, if there ever was a chance for an audience, we really put on a show. We ignored the fact that we loved each other and that at the day, we would be doing what’s in the best interest of our family name. We never wanted to embarrass mom and dad. We never wanted to let outsiders know we could hate each other at times. But we did. And we were wrong.

The same here in Gonzales. When the mayor is accused of malfeasance in a public setting, when words like “cut public safety” are used in front of cameras, it’s done with ill-intent. Our Gonzales leaders have to do better at maintaining the positive image the city has. Take the drama behind closed doors, because when it’s aired to people who don’t care then that’s more fuel to the fire. People are gaining from our drama here, so let’s put an end to it.

Let’s look at the facts. All city employees, including public safety, are getting pay raises. So, to say the majority of the council is against public safety is absurd. Questioning if the mayor has done wrong in office at a public setting, of course, would create bad blood. There are things that have been done and are being done that’s only going to keep Gonzales from truly prospering.

Yes, businesses are still coming in while all of this is going on. But because of the negative, so many viewers are overlooking the growth to look at the trash.

City of Gonzales officials, I urge you to take this bull by the horns. Stop pointing fingers and accept that you all played a hand in creating this nightmare. Now, it’s time to wake up, face reality and bring back this fantasyland that many Baton Rouge residents want to live in. Bring back the fantasy and that Convent residents want to live. Bring back Gonzales.

After my brother and I would stop fighting in public, we would show the viewers that we may fight with each other, but nobody else can come in and pick on one or the other. Only I could fight with him. Only he could fight with me. The outsiders knew not to cast a stone, because together my brother and I were unstoppable. Gonzales, together you can be unstoppable.