Parish council outlaws sagging pants, underwear as outerwear

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
The Iberville Parish Council issues a Proclamation for American Red Cross Month. From left, Board member, Owen Cope, Councilman Jewell, Board member Monique Edwards, and Board member Matt Whitehead and Vice Chairman Warren Taylor.

PLAQUEMINE - The Iberville Parish Council approved an ordinance making it illegal to wear sagging pants below the waist, exposing skin or underwear in public at its regularly scheduled meeting.

The council voted 9-1 to pass the ordinance identical to one passed recently in Terrebonne Parish.

The measure affects only the unincorporated areas of the parish and do not include city or town limits. The ordinance will be enforced by parish deputies.

A first-offense conviction brings a $50 fine with a second conviction rising to $100 and a third or ensuing convictions receiving $100 fines and 16 hours of community service.  

Salaris Butler cast the lone vote against the ordinance.

“I don’t like the fact that they wear their pants below their waist but I have a lot of youngsters tell me it is a way to express yourself and I don’t want to take that away from anybody,” Butler said.

The ordinance was drawn at the request of Louis “Pete” Kelly. Council Chairman Matt Jewell noted there was no opposition from the public.

Because “sagging” is most often practiced by young, African-American males, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Orleans declared in a letter to the council that it is opposed to the ordinance on several levels, including racial profiling.

In other news, the council recognized utilities director Brian Berthelot upon retirement.

Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso also told the council that parish government spend $100,000 out the budget constructing boat docks to establish a pedestrian crossing over the Intracoastal Canal after a barge slammed into the La. 77 bridge several weeks ago. Ourso said there is no boat traffic during the crossing hours of operation.

Ourso also said he signed substantial completion on the Bayou Sorrel Boat Landing in the amount of $700,000.

The council also approved a resolution committee recommendation to allow Ourso to apply for a grant for a drainage project on Price St.

Ourso also showed interest in purchasing a 14-acre tract behind the Iberville Parish Jail for possible future expansions.

“If this parish grows, I think it is a good investment,” Ourso said.

The council also passed an ordinance declaring properties surplus and authorize the sale of them.

Finally, the council proclaimed March 2014 American Red Cross Month in Iberville Parish.