During Tuesday’s meeting of the Picayune City Council, Councilman Larry Breland once again tried to gain approval from his fellow council members to construct bathroom facilities and other capital improvements at Leola Jordan and J.P. Johnson Park.
Breland’s request was put to a vote and did not pass with Council members Wayne Gouguet, Tammy Valente, and Jan Miller-Stevens voting no.
Another request on the agenda from Breland was for the city to submit a grant application to the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation for funding to make the improvements at Leola Jordan and J..P. Johnson Park.
Breland said, “If we don’t make improvements to the parks, it’s like a death sentence and if we don’t improve them, the parks will deteriorate and soon die out. That’s the situation we’ve got.”
Speaking about what he believes is a need at the parks, Breland said that the absence of bathrooms at the parks “leaves people with not place to go to relieve themselves”.
Breland added, “It’s insensitive. I can’t understand why this council votes time and time again not to do this.”
Breland ask why council members Gouguet, Valente, and Miller-Stevens to explain why they continue to vote no on this request.
Valente said she feels there are safety issues like those at Friendship Park where exposed nails have caused injuries to children that need to be addressed.
Gouguet said that the city currently has bathrooms at parks they have to be kept locked to avoid vandalism and he feels these could very well end up staying locked all the time as well.
Councilwoman Lynn Bogan-Bumpers said. “The city needs to build the bathrooms, leave them open and if they are vandalized, we just fix them. It’s as simple as that.”
The vote to apply for the grant failed with the same no votes as the first request.