St. Martin Parish Council lives up to and even exceeds anticipated dog-and-pony show; votes 7-0 on Broussard’s zoning variance without even specifying what motion is being voted upon!

Without even specifying what the motion is, SMPG Council Members vote 7-0 on farmer Billy Broussard’s zoning variance.

In our second-most-recent feature on the St. Martin Parish Government (SMPG) battle with farmer Billy Broussard, we indicated that we’d be there to film a fully-expected dog-and-pony show by the SMPG Council when it considered Broussard’s zoning variance request.  From that feature:

Now, on Monday, February 14, 2022 at approximately 2:00 p.m., a phone call was made by a long-time friend of SMPG Council President Chris Tauzin to him……….

Tauzin allegedly then proceeded to inform the caller, “It doesn’t matter at this point!  The hole is too deep, and nobody can change that now.  I don’t care if the President of the United States tried to intervene at this point.  The hole is simply way too deep.”

The full SMPG Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, and we certainly plan to attend and videotape the little “dog and pony” show that the Council plans to conduct.  We believe that efficiency should dictate that Tauzin open discussion of Broussard’s item as follows:  “We are going to dispense with public comment and comments by Council members on the Duchamp Road rezoning request because, as I have stated, ‘the hole is too deep.’  Parish President Cedars is adamantly opposed to Mr. Broussard’s operations, and that fact has been well-documented.  Therefore, I will entertain a Motion to Deny at this time.  Motion to Deny by Councilman xxxxxx, seconded by Councilman yyyyyy.  All those in favor vote green, and all those opposed vote red.  The board is lit green by every member of this Council.  It’s unanimous:  Mr. Broussard’s application is denied!”

The SMPG Council came as close as possible to following the script above considering that “dispensing with public comment” would be a clear and unequivocal violation of Louisiana’s Open Meetings Laws (and that part of the script was obvious sarcasm).

It’s also a violation to convene a quorum of members behind closed doors, yet every meeting we’ve attended, the entirety of the membership comes from behind closed doors one minute prior to the meeting, and tonight’s (Wednesday, March 2, 2022) meeting was no exception.  All of the members, attorney Allan Durand, and Parish President Chester Cedars all emerged one minute before the meeting.

What was blatantly obvious is that Broussard’s zoning variance had been discussed behind those closed doors, and the Council Members were likely told to keep their mouths shut!  No doubt either Durand or Cedars (or both) told the Council Members that making statements such as Tauzin allegedly made on February 14, 2022 at around 2:00 p.m. can only hurt SMPG’s cause in a court of law.

They were likely further admonished that the meeting was obviously being videotaped and so the best policy for the Members would be to stay silent and simply vote after public comment.  After all, as LSP Trooper Scott Lopez can testify, anything you say to that camera can and will be used against you!

The meeting started promptly at 5:00 p.m., and Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns turned on the ignition of his car to begin heading back to Baton Rouge at exactly 5:13 p.m.!  Furthermore, there were six (6) perfunctory items which were conducted prior to Broussard’s matter.   That should provide insight on just how much time Broussard’s matter took up on the agenda (six minutes, 49 seconds to be exact – five minutes of which was Broussard making public comment).

The only flaw in the SMPG Council’s otherwise superb dog-and-pony show?  They obviously didn’t rehearse it well enough behind closed doors to actually articulate a Motion when that time came (notice we gave the guidance of “Motion to Deny” above, but apparently they’re simply not bright enough to follow that simple script)!  Not to worry though, Parish President Chester Cedars came to the rescue (after the 7-0 vote had been cast!) in inquiring, “What is the Motion?”

Here’s the full 6:49 video:

Consideration of Broussard Zoning Variance in its entirety at the March 2, 2022 SMPG meeting.  CLICK HERE for Broussard’s public comment.

We are extremely certain that there will be more features to come on this whole matter, but that’s enough comedy from one governmental entity for this one episode!

If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future posts, simply go to our home page and scroll to the bottom (mobile devices) or to the top of the right-hand column (desktops).  Supply your email address within the subscribe box.  You’ll then receive an automated email from Word Press, and all you have to do is click on the blue “confirm follow” bar contained within that email, and you’ll begin receiving great posts such as the preceding one above.


3 thoughts on “St. Martin Parish Council lives up to and even exceeds anticipated dog-and-pony show; votes 7-0 on Broussard’s zoning variance without even specifying what motion is being voted upon!”

  1. Good God!! This is a sorry excuse for a parish council! It was not the place of the chairman to state for the councilman who made the motion what his motion was!! Then you have an attorney who sits there like a lump on a log and lets this farce take place! They should have retaken the vote, had the original mover make clear his motion (not the chairman do if for him) then the member making the second make a second again, and then take a vote with the motion clearly stated. I question the legality of this vote! Whatever the case, this was as this blogger states a true “dog and pony show.”

    1. While blog reporting is entitled to be biased, I would submit that the features I write upon are based on VERY, VERY, VERY extensive hours invested making public records requests, attending courthouse hearings, and attending meetings such as the DOG & PONY show the Council put on. Let me ask you this, Pal? How many public records requests have you made in your lifetime? I can assure you that I’ve made more in one week then you’ve made in your lifetime, but if you want to call Allan Durand or Chester Cedars for confirmation of the public records requests I’ve made for these features, be my guest! I can tell you more are coming in the near future, and THAT, Pal, is something you can take to be bank! As for your question on payment, I’ve never received ONE DIME from ANYONE; furthermore, when I received an anonymous email suggesting that I could count on a monthly payment arriving in the mail if I refrained from any further negative posts on former Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones, here is the feature I put out to let EVERYONE know that I accept payments from NOBODY (no ads, no voluntary contributions): It gives the freedom to expose absurdities such as the one which has transpired in St. Martin Parish in this instance! Hope you have an enjoyable weekend because I know I sure am with it beginning right now with five pounds of boiled crawfish I just purchased from Heads and Tails Seafood. Heck, they probably came from your neck of the woods, and I consume approximately 300 pounds a year, and I know I have the belly to prove it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.