- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

AMITE, La. (AP) - The Tangipahoa Parish Council has agreed to give voters the opportunity to decide in the Oct. 24 election whether to limit the parish president and council members to three consecutive four-year terms.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1Q9Qstz) the term-limit issue has been lingering for at least two years when a Charter Review Committee asked the council to allow voters to decide if term limits should be applied to the parish president and council members. At the time, the council rejected that recommendation.

The matter was revived two months ago. After more debate, and three separate introductions of proposed term-limit ordinances, the council finally agreed, on a 7-2 vote Tuesday, to place the matter before the voters.

Voting in favor were Councilmen David Vial, Carlo Bruno, Trent Forrest, Greg Varnado, Ronnie Bankston, Harry Lavine and Nicky Muscarello. Voting no were Councilmen Louis Joseph and Lionel Wells. Council member Bobby Cortez abstained.

When casting his vote, Muscarello, who first proposed the ordinance two months ago, said, “I vote a big old hearty ‘yes!’ This has gone on long enough.”

The council on Tuesday also created a committee to explore what measures the parish can take to force the state Department of Transportation and Development and the Canadian National Railroad to improve a number of railroad crossings and better maintain grass and vegetation along the tracks.

Bankston opened the discussion about the railroad crossings when he noted that residents of his district have been complaining for years about the deplorable condition of the crossing that leads to Shadow Creek subdivision. He said some of his constituents have even had tires flattened while navigating the crossing.

His complaint brought a chorus of similar gripes about other crossings in the parish.

Several weeks ago a truck driver was killed when struck by an Amtrak train, and in the past year another motorist was seriously injured in a collision with a train. It’s not known, however, whether those accidents were due to the poor crossing conditions.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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