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Council members a no show for Tallulah council meeting

TALLULAH, La. - Tensions were high...

Audience member: "Mr. Mayor will you take questions?"

Mayor Paxton Branch: "I just said no."

Audience member: "The people have questions."

It was supposed to be a normal Tallulah city council meeting, but when three of the council members didn't show up, the meeting couldn't be held. 

"The citizens of Tallulah are tired, real tired and I'm one of them," said Tallulah resident LaTonya Harris. 

Residents indicated that council members didn't show up because certain items they requested weren't on the agenda. The actions by those few members made some residents hopeful for the future. 

"It makes me feel good because it seems like some things that [are] being addressed, needs to be addressed," said Harris.

"I think that the new council, they made a stand for the people," Antonio Wilson added. 

However, Mayor Paxton Branch believes that not showing up was not the way to handle the issue.

"So the reason why they're saying the did not come to the meeting is because an item wasn't on the agenda? You have control when you come into the meeting. This is the city council's meeting. All they had to do was come and do a quorum and then ask to amend the agenda," he said.

Residents assert that all they wanted was for their voices to be heard. Teresa Williams says after conversations with the Mayor she wanted to bring an academy to Tallulah.  

"This school would bring jobs into this area, not only bringing jobs but it would give students the opportunity at a great education," Williams said.

Other residents wanted to discuss one of the biggest issues the city faces, poor water quality.

"The water is still brown, it's still not suitable for people to be drinking," said resident Rose Ford. 

The mayor mentions that there is a time and a place to address each of those concerns. 

"Those are issues where they can come to the mayors office and talk about it. Don't wait until  you get a crowd of people at a council meeting and use that," Mayor Branch said.

Residents say the action by the council members makes them hopeful that this is the start of turning troubled Tallulah around. 

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