The Lafayette Charter Commission has been named after the City-Parish Council voted in seven members and City-Parish President Joey Durel appointed a pair.
[Editor's Note: This in an update to a story posted Tuesday morning concerning the commission tasked with studying and recommending changes to or repeal of the Lafayette Home Rule Charter. The original story inaccurately forecast possible revelations about the council's intentions for the commission and where the commission's meetings may lead. In fact, the votes by the council and the appointments by City-Parish President Joey Durel revealed very little. The original story follows the update..]
Nine Lafayette residents — five from the city and four from the unincorporated parish, including a black resident from each of the geographic units — will be sworn in on Wednesday, July 21 to serve on the Lafayette Charter Commission following a series of votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council and appointments by City-Parish President Joey Durel. The commission includes a pair of former City-Parish Council members and a former state representative.
Comprising the commission are Aaron Walker, Steve Oats, Odon Bacque, Bruce Conque, George Lewis, Desmond Miller, Greg Manuel, Karen Carson and Randy Menard.
Durel appointed Lewis, a former city and parish auditor, and Menard, a former city-parish councilman, to the panel. Others with political experience on the commission will be Conque, a former councilman, Bacque, a former state representative, and Walker, former head of the Lafayette chapter of the NAACP. Oats, a Lafayette attorney, served previously on the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
The nine-member charter commission will be pressed into service Tuesday evening at a Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting that could revive debate about the future of consolidated government in the parish. The CPC will vote on seven of the nine members; City-Parish President Joey Durel will make the other two appointments.
Thirty-three applicants comprise the pool of candidates — 23 are city of Lafayette residents, including five minority-race members; of the 10 remaining residents of unincorporated Lafayette Parish, two are minorities. According to the ordinance establishing the commission, five of the nine members must be city residents, one of them a minority; the other four commission members must be unincorporated residents, one of them also a minority. Durel’s two appointments must meet each of the geographic requirements.
Several familiar names from Lafayette’s civic, political and business communities are among the candidates for the commission, including former District 6 Councilman Bruce Conque, former Republican state Rep. Ernie Alexander, Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee Secretary Mike Stagg, Aaron Walker, former president of Lafayette's NAACP chapter, and Cajundome Director Greg Davis, who is also seeking the District 2 seat on the Lafayette Parish School Board this fall.
With some members of the CPC having already openly expressed a preference for repealing the Lafayette Home Rule Charter and returning to dual city and parish forms of government — counterbalanced by as many CPC members voicing hostility to deconsolidation — Tuesday’s appointment process could reveal much about what the council hopes the commission recommends after nine months of meetings. As the ordinance reads, the commission has the option of “reviewing, studying and proposing either revisions, additions or amendments to the Home Rule Charter of Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government or to prepare and propose alternate charters for the City of Lafayette and or the Parish of Lafayette.”
Once the commission is sworn in and begins its work, the fate of Lafayette Parish’s constitution for governance will be out of the council’s hands; the commission’s recommendation(s) will go directly before voters, be it a minor tweak or two to the existing charter of what many in the community view as the nuclear option — deconsolidation. To get up to speed on who the candidates are, tune in all day Tuesday to AOC leading up to the 5:30 meeting; the community access cable channel is airing the interviews with the commission applicants that were held a few weeks ago.
To view the list of charter commission candidates, click here.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.