One candidacy derailed by rejection of annexation; Stephen Ussery announces for Gonzales Chief of Police

Stephen Ussery announces candidacy for Police Chief

The City of Gonzales’ established policy for annexation of property has required unanimity of all affected property owners seeking entry into the city limits.  That policy held sway on Monday when Councilman Harold Stewart’s motion to introduce the requisite ordinance annexing five parcels on Clouatre Road failed for lack of a second.  Without an argument that annexation would benefit the city, economically or otherwise, the bid was seen as the mechanism to enable a potential candidate to seek elective office in 2024 and nothing more.

Word is that Chief Sherman Jackson will call it a career when his fourth term expires at the end 2023 and he has designated a successor.  But Gonzales Police Officer Tyson Dennis’ potential candidacy…

Officer Tyson Dennis, center, with Police Chief Sherman Jackson (left)-File Photo

derailed, along with the annexation petition by the City Council inaction.  Former GPD officer, Stephen Ussery, spoke against the annexation, informally announcing his own candidacy to succeed Jackson.

“There is no economic benefit for the City of Gonzales (by the annexation),” Ussery asserted.  “I think we all know why these properties are seeking to be annexed.  This is strictly a political agenda (to render Tyson Dennis eligible for the Chief of Police election).”

Ussery went on state that he will be a candidate for Chief of Police in 2024.

Gonzales’ procedure for annexation is more stringent than Louisiana law which requires only 80% of the subject property owners to join the petition.  That is according to City Attorney Matt Percy who explained that “this chain of properties are, collectively, contiguous” to the city limits thereby satisfying another annexation requirement.  Technically, yes but the chain of properties would have connected to Hodgeson Road where the city limits end, leaving a gap between their northern property lines and Hwy 30 which forms Gonzales’ southern boundary.

Councilman Johnny Berthelot inquired about the economic benefits of annexation, a requirement for past annexations.  No mention had been made on Monday, December 6 when the city’s Planning Commission recommended annexation without any inquiry at all.