Pettit versus Lawler: Citizen fires salvo at Councilman

Yesterday morning I received two phone calls from Councilman Aaron Lawler, a charming conversationalist and all-around comical guy.  It was a continuation of our social media tete-a-tete from the previous day when Lawler declared:

I have decided that I will not appoint a proxy to represent the people of Prairieville in District 7 on the charter committee. I figure the people Prairieville need all the representation they can get, especially when Gonzales was given an extra representative at the cost of Prairieville. In brief, my role on this committee will be to consider all proposals and possible changes, eliminate any proposals or changes that would be undoubtably detrimental to the parish and allow you the voter the final say. Please feel free to email, call, private message or text me your concerns and ideas about our charter, whether it can be improved, should be given wholesale revisions, your thoughts on the ABA, ARPEC and ACG proposals or any other issue.

In keeping with his modus operandi Lawler’s self-serving declaration was a back-handed swipe at his favorite target, fellow Prairieville council representative, Doc Satterlee, who (I’ve been led to believe) appointed the editor/owner of this very publication to the committee in question.  The fact of the matter is that Lawler expressed his intention to appoint a member of A Better Ascension to the committee; an individual who resides, not in Lawler’s District 7, but Councilman Travis Turner’s District 3.

The very heights of hypocrisy; Lawler’s incessant, petulant carping at Satterlee knows no limits. Engaging him on his own turf (his Facebook page), I got a dose of Lawler’s patented medicine after posing a question about his chairmanship of the council’s Transportation Committee.  It related to CAO Ken Dawson’s withholding an April 2016 Traffic Impact Policy Review from Satterlee’s Strategic Planning committee in early 2017.

I obtained the report in response to a recent records request.  On April 13, 2017 a mute CAO Ken Dawson sat there as Lawler hijacked an important piece of business (improving “worthless Traffic Impact Studies” included in subdivision plats considered by our Planning Commission) from Strategic Planning.  Lawler’s committee has done nothing to fix the problem, ten months and counting, and I asked him when he learned of the report.  His response:

So Aaron Lawler knew about the Urban Systems report nearly a year ago and said nothing, as 15 more subdivisions with worthless traffic studies were approved, further clogging our congested roads?

CAO Dawson lied to the people of Ascension Parish, and the entire Council save Aaron Lawler, going on two years now.   Lawler’s complicity in Dawson’s duplicity ONLY lasted for half that time.

Here’s another question for you, Aaron:

If Urban Systems’ 2016 work product, for which it pocketed $42,000 of taxpayer money, is “a useless document,” why did you and your committee recommend hiring them to perform the same task for an additional $25,000 on February 5?

The full council approved the expenditure on February 15.  Which brings me to our most recent phone conversations, both of which were initiated by the District 7 Councilman, most curious since I reside in District 10, a seat for which I intend to run in 2019.

As far as I can tell all he wanted to tell me was that he, Aaron Lawler, has identified a candidate (not named John Cagnolatti, the incumbent) who is “formidable and well-funded.”  Thus, I have no chance at winning the election and, presumably, neither does Cagnolatti.  Lawler would not name his mystery candidate, which should come as no surprise.

Lawler has targeted other of his current colleagues for ouster on October 12, 2019.  He is actively soliciting candidates to run against Doc Satterlee in District 4, Dempsey Lambert in District 5, and Randy Clouatre in District 6.  Which highlights Lawler’s hypocrisy in attacking Satterlee (see above).

How about you focus on serving your own constituents, Aaron?  It seems like they are none too happy with you.  What would you expect when you give some developer a “second bite at the apple”… and you try to introduce inter-connectivity of their subdivisions against their will like you did recently to Parker Place II residents.  I invite you to respond.


Jeff Pettit, Citizen


NOTE:  Pelican Post will afford Councilman Lawler the opportunity to respond in any manner he deems appropriate.





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