City Council makes quick work of light agenda

After string of controversies and hot-button issues, council adopts special event permits as social life returns to normal in Mandeville

Updated June 11, 2021, at 6:30 a.m. – Adds references and links to other agenda items.

MANDEVILLE — As things are returning to normal around Mandeville now that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be behind us, the City Council has approved a string of special-event permits at its last several meetings, plus some routine house-keeping tasks. There was, however, one noticeable difference with tonight’s meeting — no controversies.

Tonight, the council approved the Mande Milkshaker’s 4th of July Parade (July 4, 2021, from 4-5 p.m.) and the Old Mandeville Business Association’s Sip & Stroll (Sept. 25, 2021, from 5-9 p.m.).

The council also approved “The St. Tammany Farmer (www.sttammanyfarmer.net)” as the official journal of record for the next fiscal year. State law (R.S. 43:142) requires every government body which is subject to the “Open Meetings Law” have a journal of record. Editor’s Note: The St. Tammany Farmer was purchased by the Georges Media Group in 2018 and all its operations and archives were folded into the operations of The Times-Picayune | The Morning Advocate (Nola.com). There is still a printed product named “St. Tammany Farmer” which is distributed on the Northshore via subscription and coin-operated paper machines.

Historic Preservation District Commission Chairman Jeff Bernard presented a year-in-review report to the Council, detailing the commission’s efforts to preserve and promote historic Old Mandeville.

Retiring Police Chief Gerald Sticker was honored by Mayor Clay Madden for his 28 years of service to the city.

Since early March, each council meeting had seen at least one wrangle or another, some predictable, others not so much.

The May 27th meeting was expected to see the quick passage of Madden’s disaster response and recovery pick, which had been thoroughly debated at the May 13th meeting.

But District II Councilman Skelly Kreller, who was returning from a medical leave that night, opted to grill the mayor in an extended debate session before that resolution was finally adopted 3-1.

The disaster response and recovery pick had originally been scheduled for a vote at the May 13th meeting, but after a lengthy debate, a majority opted to delay the vote, citing the need to have more time to respond to concerns from their constituents.

The May 13th meeting also served as the death knell for the controversial electronic sign and billboard extension, a hot-button issue in the community, one that had triggered debate at prior meetings as well as a couple of Planning & Zoning meetings.

And the March 25th, April 8th and April 22nd meetings were dominated with Madden’s so-called staff restructuring plan, where he proposed creating a “Director of Administration” post. The plan met fierce resistance from a vocal segment of the community, which made a compromise impossible, and the proposal went down in flames.

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Mandeville Event Alert: Another sign that things are getting back to normal is the return of the “Trailhead Pop-Up Party” concert events. The next one is tomorrow (Friday, June 11, 2021) at 6:30 p.m., featuring Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. See the Mandeville events schedule here.

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