The Gonzales City Council met for a short-and-sweet meeting on Monday, February 27, with two main things on the table: the Civic Center and bullying.
It has been some months since bullying has been big in the mainstream media, but it seems to be an ever evolving, basic problem in schools and in life.
Kristen Watts, a customer service representative for State Farm in Geismar presented a new anti-bullying campaign, started by Mike Toups of Geismar. Toups calls the campaign the Kindness Revolution. He is reminding Ascension to "Pay it forward."
In order to get the message out, Toups has printed rubber wristbands. The smaller bands made for children read "It's cool to be kind." He has printed them out in red and blue, and he even printed some in black and yellow for St. Amant, according to Watts.
"Tonight was probably one of the shorter meetings we ever had," Mayor Barney Arceneaux said. "I enjoyed Kristen Watts' presentation for raising awareness of acts of kindness in the community. What I liked is that she's going to be going to all the schools and talking to the kids about bullying."
Watts' explained that Toups is dealing with a personal bullying incident head on, and it occurred in the schools. Watts is now on board to try to help the parish get over the "bullying epidemic."
"We want to let kids know that bullying is not okay and try to pull them away from that," Watts said. "We live in an awesome community, and we think that it can work to reward people who exemplify greatness in kindness."
Watts mentioned the importance of kindness for adults in the workplace, as well. It is about going above and beyond.
"Since the flood you have seen our community come together." Watts said. "Our neighbors were in some serious trouble, and they had people that risked everything to help others."
Next, on the topic of flood, Arceneaux said that the city is playing a "waiting game" when it comes to the Gonzales Civic Center. City Engineer Jackie Baumann presented to the council that funds are not coming easily for a new building.
"People are still a little confused about why we're not doing anything with it," Arceneaux said. "Our goal is to tear it down and build a new one."
Arceneaux and some of the councilmen are traveling to Washington D.C. in a couple weeks, meeting with Louisiana Senators and congressmen to try to obtain more money.
"It could be DOJ, Department of Homeland Security, I don't care where it comes from," Arceneaux said. "I'm going to try to get what I can. Because what we want to do is build in the same location. But we want to build higher, bigger, and move it back for a little more parking."