Council members propose ordinances

By By Justin B. Phillips / American Press

A handful of ordinances were proposed

at the end of Thursday’s City Council agenda meeting by a pair of

council members. Councilwoman

Mary Morris began the round of introductions by addressing three

local issues.

“The first resolution is asking the city, the public works department, to pick up trash and debris from adjudicated properties

for the following reason: a possible savings of $115 per lot,” Morris said. “This is being paid to the contractors for the

hauling and disposing of the trash and debris.”

Morris said the city could save the $75 paid to remove the trash and debris and the $40 spent to haul it. She said she was

introducing the ordinance so the city could research the matter.

Morris’ second ordinance proposal focused on the City Council meetings themselves and possibly broadcasting them to a wider

audience.

“Number two is a resolution requesting

the city of Lake Charles to meet the criteria for airing City Council

meetings on the

Calcasieu Government Channel, C-GOV,” Morris said. “This would be

an opportunity for citizens to access City Council meetings.”

The program requirements are listed on

the Calcasieu Police Jury website at www.cppj.net. For example,

requirement No. 6 in

the section titled “Programming Eligibility” says the “programming

shall be direct, non-editorial information regarding the

operation and deliberations of local government and other public

affairs. The Channel shall not serve as a mechanism for building

support for a particular policy, program or issue.”

Morris’ third proposal addressed the local job market and creating a competitive pay scale for workers. Morris said the raise

would improve the quality of life for minimum-wage workers and provide the city with a more confident working class.

“Number three is a resolution

requesting the city of Lake Charles raise the minimum wage for its

employees to $9.50 based

on the following reasons. It moves our city employees to a living

wage and not having a poverty wage,” Morris said. “It enables

our city employees to raise families that contribute to the

community by paying taxes. It enables our city employees to provide

health insurance for their families.”

Morris went on to describe how the

raise in wages could pay for education for the workers and possibly

decrease employee turnover.

“Many of our employees have $7.75 to $8 an hour, so this would give us an opportunity to move forward to raising the minimum

wage for our employees,” Morris said.

After Morris presented her items, councilman Dana Jackson discussed the increasingly popular electronic cigarette and how

some form of restrictions need to be placed on how and where the product is used.

“Let’s make an ordinance that

e-cigarettes will be treated the same way as regular cigarettes. They

can’t smoke them inside

the restaurants. Just like cigarettes, they’d be treated the same

exact way. If you run across them, you can smell them good,”

Jackson said. “I don’t know about the tar and stuff in them, but

from what they say, they are running way more nicotine than

a regular cigarette.”

The e-cigarette is a battery-powered

device that simulates tobacco smoking. It functions by using a heating

element that vaporizes

a liquid solution that contains a mix of nicotine and flavorings.

Some just have a flavored vapor without the nicotine. The

items can purchased easily online, and many are concerned that

they may appeal to kids. The concerns are one of the reasons

the council should consider the ordinance, Jackson said.

“It’s attractive to young kids, they’re

saying, and I know we smelled them the other night when we were eating

at a restaurant.

If you smell them, it has got to be putting out something,” he

said. “I think the USDA is still struggling over who’s trying

to do the test and what else. I don’t see a reason we couldn’t

just go ahead and put it in and enact it now.”