Livingston parish council wants to shut down watchdog website

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 11:38am

A battle over a website name is making its way to the District Attorney's office in Livingston Parish. The creator says its meant to make the parish council more transparent, but some members say it has to go.

Earl Price likes to keep tabs on the parish council. He thinks it's important for residents to know what's going on in their community. That's why he started a website devoted to keeping residents up-to-date on the latest council news. "I search for new stuff to put on there every night," says Price.

The site has everything from parish news and important dates to campaign promises made by council members when they ran for office, but his site has been met with some opposition. At the last council meeting, Price's site was put on the hot seat. Some council members asked the District Attorney to shut it down.

They say his site is misleading. Right now, the council is building their own website, one with an almost identical domain name, and council members say they're just too similar. They worry that people will click on Price's site and mistake it for the council website.

"I don't want to mislead anybody," Price says. "Personally, I don't think if you log onto this page you're going to think its the official council site."

That's why Price thinks some council members have other reasons for wanting his site out of the picture. "They don't want people to know what they talk about at the meetings. They don't want them to know what they vote on."

He says one council member in particular was very vocal about getting rid of the website. Price says at the meeting, Councilman Jimmie McCoy stood up and demanded that the D.A.'s office do everything possible to remove the site from the Internet.

"He said 'just shut him down. Burn his computer. Shut him down completely.' That upset me," Price says.

McCoy, however, says he doesn't have a problem with Price or his site. Instead, he says he's never even looked at the site before. His main concern about Price's site came from the person building the council's site. He says she was worried about people mixing the two sites up.

Still, he did say he thinks Price should shut down the site if the council persists, or at least change the domain name. Price, however, says he won't back down. "I'll fight it."

To see Price's website, click here

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