Reid Falconer, the Louisiana State Representative or District 89, will introduce a bill, at the request of Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, to name the Madisonville Public Library after former long-time Madisonville Mayor, Peter “Pete” Gitz. Brister consulted with Donald Westmoreland, Director of St. Tammany Parish Libraries, and Jean Pelloat, current Madisonville Mayor, before making the request. The bill, which seeks to “…name the library in honor of a living person,” will be introduced in the next regular Legislative Session, which begins on April 10, 2017.
“The contribution Mayor Gitz has made to Madisonville is remarkable,” said Pat Brister. “He has helped shape this community into the place that it is today — a place full of history that has a family-friendly atmosphere —and we felt it very fitting to name this public gathering place after him.”
“It is my honor to draft this bill for introduction and bring it to the State Legislature,” said Representative Falconer. “Mr. Gitz is a model public servant. I am proud to support this effort to honor his unending commitment and devotion to his community.”
Peter Gitz served the Town of Madisonville for four consecutive decades. He has seen the Town of Madisonville through growth change, hardship and plenty. He has been a mentor and a friend to many. His accomplishments include a concrete bulkhead along the Tchefuncte River spanning 1400 feet; his part in helping to open the Maritime Museum, the launch of the Wooden Boat Festival, and the newest branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library.
Hurricane Katrina damaged the Madisonville Branch of the library located on Cedar Street, and a temporary branch was opened in a rental facility on Highway 22. The Town of Madisonville then donated 1.5 acres on Main Street to the library for the construction of a new library branch, which began in 2012. This facility was opened to the public in September of 2013.