On the surface, it would seem the city of Youngsville staunchly opposes Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper and his Turnaround Plan for the Lafayette Parish School System, but that’s only if you’re listening to what’s coming from its representative on the school board, Rae Trahan, whose continued resistance to anything Cooper will warrant a response Thursday by the Youngsville City Council. Surprise-surprise, it doesn't agree.
Trahan is the board member leading the charge for an investigation into Cooper for undisclosed wrongdoings. Though it passed muster with a majority of school board members — the usual cast of the board’s anti-Cooperites including Tommy Angelle, Greg Awbrey, Mark Allen Babineaux and Tehmi Chassion — Trahan’s resolution to hire the Gretna-based law firm of Grant & Barrow to conduct the superintendent investigation has hit a brick wall, at least for now, all because of its brevity and failure to comply with certain stipulations required by the state attorney general’s office for public bodies seeking outside legal counsel.
| Photo by Robin May
| Lafayette Parish School Board member Rae Trahan
Over the course of this year the community has become increasingly more vocal in its outcry against those board members refusing to put the “Us Vs Cooper” shenanigans to rest [read more on that here
Those board members, however, have done everything but listen, giving cause for another public display of support for the superintendent and his plan for the school system on Thursday from the people who represent the same constituents as Trahan, and will come in the form of a resolution by the Youngsville City Council making known where it stands on the matter: Next to Cooper.
“The scope of the resolution is open-ended right now as we’re waiting to see whatever the School Board does at its meeting [Wednesday],” says Rick Garner, CEO for the city of Youngsville.
Garner says how the school board decides to proceed with its investigation of Cooper — which may or may not happen during Wednesday’s board meeting — will ultimately determine what version of the resolution will be voted on by the City Council at its meeting the next day.
“The mayor [Wilson Viator Jr.] and the council want to support the superintendent, and that’s the crux of the resolution, that [Youngsville] supports Dr. Cooper and his endeavors for the school system,” says Garner. “It’s not naming anybody or calling out anyone in particular, but the resolution can still be changed before Thursday, and as to how far it goes, we’re just waiting to see what happens.”
Regardless of the final product from the Youngsville council, it’s unlikely Trahan, or her cohorts for that matter, will start listening anytime soon as re-election time is unfortunately still a good ways off.