Photo by Dan Lambert
For the first time in many years, the Hammond City Council meeting Tuesday night was not able to take place due to lack of quorum.
Council Chair Carlee White Gonzalez and Councilman Steve Leon waited more than 10 minutes as city leaders tried to reach their fellow council members. Gonzalez said Councilman Kip Andrews indicated he was under the weather; however, no one could reach Councilmen Devon Wells or Sam DiVittorio by phone.
Without the minimum attendance of three council members, Gonzalez was not able to call the meeting to order.
A large group had assembled for Tuesday’s meeting, which included a resolution by Wells to ask Mayor Pete Panepinto to remove Police Chief Edwin Bergeron from office. Wells also had a resolution on the agenda to initiate an investigation into the Mayor’s appointment of Bergeron.
Director of Administration Lacy Landrum said the lack of quorum poses challenges in the city’s efforts to not only canvas the Aug. 15 election returns, which was scheduled for Tuesday night, but also to introduce an ordinance to adopt the city’s millage rates for 2020. Those issues require legal publication in two newspapers as well posting deadlines that the city will have to research to move matters forward, Landrum said Tuesday evening. She said the delays will cost the city time, and possibly money.
The council was also scheduled to address two alcohol permits for Hammond businesses, a measure to purchase 10 police units and two water and sewer department trucks, along with a proposal to provide a pre-fabricated restroom building for Mooney Park and street improvements on Brandi Lane. All of these matters, as well as Andrews’ request to seek proposals for legal services for City Council members, will be pushed back to a future agenda.