After Thursday night’s council meeting, it looks like the controversial Plaquemines Parish mud boat ordinance might really be dead in the water this time.
Council Chairman Benny Rousselle said the author of the original ordinance, District 9 council member Nicole Smith Williams, introduced a new ordinance to rescind the original one that unanimously passed the council on May 14. (Council member Jeff Edgecombe was absent for that meeting and did not vote on the original ordinance.)
“At the next meeting, it will be voted on and it will be rescinded, and I feel confident we have the votes to do that,” Rousselle said. “I think it’s a dead issue.”
Williams’ original ordinance prohibits “commercial and recreational mud boats from trespassing on public and private property located within the boundaries of Plaquemines Parish without the written permission of the landowners,” and also establishes enforcement provisions for violators.
It also stipulates that all property subject to the ordinance be conspicuously posted with “No Trespassing” signs. Anyone convicted of violating the ordinance could be fined between $50 and $500, the ordinance states.
“My intentions were not to alienate hunters or fisherman or anyone else. My husband hunts and fishes,” Williams said. “The reason that I introduced this was because I was approached by a reserve deputy. The intention was to introduce something similar to the airboat ordinance that was passed a few years ago by the previous council.”
But Cormier chose not to veto the measure, which led to Williams introducing the new ordinance to rescind at last night’s meeting.
“I asked Ms. Williams about it yesterday at the council meeting, and she said Amos decided to let us handle it,” Rousselle said.
The council will meet again on June 11, where five members of the nine-person council will have to vote in favor of the new ordinance to wipe the original measure off the books.
“To rescind, it’s a simple majority, and I feel very confident that will happen,” Rousselle said.