Councilman Ellis Questions Beach On Mandeville Lakefront
MANDEVILLE, LA – Mandeville City Councilman David Ellis is raising questions about the creation of a sand beach on the Mandeville Lakefront, raising both public safety and procedural concerns.
In recent days, since the City spent $90,000 to have sand placed in the area, residents and media have reported alligators occupying the new beach, Ellis reps said. Ellis also said the project was approved in this year's budget without discussion and proceeded without any input from the Planning and Zoning Commission or Parks and Parkways Commission.
“We have procedures in place to ensure both public input and proper professional vetting of projects before they are implemented,” Ellis said. “In this case, it seems the Administration acted unilaterally.”
In an email to Mayor Donald Villere, Ellis wrote, “My concern is that this project was not fully vetted by the council, possibly discussed in some budget meeting. The council is finding out from neighbors, friends and now Channel 6 news. Our communication procedures from the administration to the people and Council are concerning in these respects and need to be addressed. We would appreciate a public discussion in detail before projects are initiated or changes are made to council initiatives.”
Ellis also wrote that he was concerned about the safety issue involving the alligator sightings, and forwarded a constituent email addressing that element to Villere.
Ellis said the mayor responded with one sentence: “Those people who have a concern, should not go to the beach area.”
“Quite frankly, that's outrageous,” Ellis said. “Public safety should never be an issue of ‘don’t go there.’ Is this artificial beach a good idea? I don't know. There was no process for us to explore it. That kind of government is not what the people deserve and expect.”