Vermilion

Apr 11, 2014 7:28 PM by Kari Beal

Abbeville residents push recall petition for Councilman Wayne Landry

After a controversial vote to terminate the Abbeville Park and Recreation Director, Jerry Smith, residents are launching a recall petition on one newly re-elected councilman. Tuesday councilman Wayne Landry was one of three who voted to not continue Smith's position.

Smith was elected in October 2013 as director. The first six months of his term are considered probationary, and the council has to approve to have his status as permanent.

Resident said Landry's vote was the deciding factor in the council's decision. Landry represents her district and she disagrees with Landry's decision because she thinks Smith has accomplished a lot in his short term.

"Since coming in he started a track program as well as trying to grow our baseball program, different programs that weren't offered before," Shelvin said.

Even the mayor was surprised at the council's move. Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza had given Smith a satisfactory evaluation.

Now residents worry that some sports programs Smith started won't continue. That would mean children could have to travel to other cities to play sports not offered in Abbeville.

"It [the sports program] is to keep our children off the street. I don't want to see my children in jail or on the street when they could be bouncing a ball, they shouldn't have to worry about those things," Shelvin said.

None of the three councilmen--Joe Hardy, Wayne Landry, Francis Plaisance--- who voted to let Smith go were willing to explain their decision, but Councilman Plaisance said his decision was not political.

"In my opinion this is a political issue. We would like to separate politics and our children," Shelvin said.

Those who want a recall election of Councilman Wayne Landry will need to collect signatures from one third of voters in District D and submit it to the Registrar of Voters.

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