Lil' Mary

April 15, 2009


What with all the talk lately of tourism development and how much we have to offer in this lovely little town, one wonders how long it takes to get two globes replaced on the lampposts downtown?
   One, at the corner of Jackson and Main, has been missing for weeks. Another, in front of the courthouse, has a big hole in it.
   Why does it seem that day-in and day-out we overlook the simplest of things that can make our community seem to care about the face it presents to the world?
   Where is the committee of citizens who spend untold energy and hours getting the lamps revitalized? You’d think they’d be raising hell.
   Likewise, the “S” has apparently given up the ghost again. That’s the “S” in “St. Mary Parish Courthouse” on the wall next to the front steps. I complained about that a year or so ago, and it was put back up, albeit crooked. It seems the “S” has abandoned all hope – like many of us – and committed hari kari.
   Therefore, it is now the “T. Mary Courthouse.” In Cajun, tee means “little” and somehow that’s appropriate, isn’t it? Little St. Mary on this side of the Cut, grand or Big St. Mary for the other side.
   Anybody else wanna secede?
   Good news from Main Street…
   Both the former Wormser’s building and the Fad News Stand have been getting facelifts this week. Also, the former Mobil station across from the cemetery and the former Heavenly Delights building. Kudos to the owners of all! It’s uplifting and hopefully infectious.
   Here’s some news from our brethren over in Big St. Mary:
   “Rhythm on the River,” a Friday night event sponsored by Café JoJo’s, Cajun Coast Visitor’s Bureau and the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce, will begin April 24 and end May 29.
   According to Steve Morell, acts including Don Rich, T.K. Hulin, Déjà vu and Waylon Thibodeaux already have been lined up to perform.
   Morell said a six-week session of “Rhythm on the River” also has been planned this fall.

   Well. What do you think of that, Lil’ St. Mary?
   All it takes is a little gumption. And vision.
   You oughtta go take a look at You really should.
   Lake End Park, by the way, has its very own Web site, did you know that?
   Things that make you go, “Hmm…”
   What? Surprised to hear me bragging on our east-end neighbors?
   Well, they deserve it. They have shown…what did I just say? Gumption and vision. I bet there are no missing letters on their courthouse. Oh, wait, they don’t have a courthouse. We are the parish seat. That’s right. Silly me.
   Even as Morgan City residents are staging a Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already) as part of a national initiative to express disgust with the federal government, word reaches my ears that parish government is still jabber-jawing about a half-cent sales tax in St. Mary Parish.
   With only 9 cents available to the parish, and since we’re currently paying 8 percent, those last two half-cents have been hanging out there like a carrot with some mighty hungry donkeys looking at it.
   The only thing holding them back for many, many years was the fact that nobody wanted to be the “bad guys.” Also, everybody knows that if someone takes just a half-center, someone else is going to jump all over that last half-cent so nobody else can get it.
   Well, you say, many parishes are paying 9 percent already.
   Yeah. Lafayette. Iberia. Very good comparisons to St. Mary, eh?
   Iberia Parish has a sales tax rate of 8.5 percent, and a property tax average of 77 mills.
   St. Mary Parish has a sales tax of 8 percent, and an average property tax of 100 mills; far more, in some taxing district areas, up around 130 or so?
   Anyway, after some speeches, attendees at the Tea Party will march from Lawrence Park to Berwick Bay and dump some symbolic tea into the water.
   Perhaps some parish officials might want to attend to promote their half-cent sales tax?
   Yeah. That’s what I thought, too.