In all likelihood, an ordinance putting a repeal of the Lafayette City-Parish Home Rule Charter before voters in November will be tabled or deferred this evening by the Lafayette City-Parish Council; several council members have expressed concern that the process is moving too fast, a sentiment shared by City-Parish President Joey Durel and the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. But vote on deconsolidation they must — three resolutions pertaining to the topic are the first action items on the agenda; the ordinance itself proposing the repeal of the charter is the first up for final adoption. By 6:30 p.m. today, Lafayette Parish should have a pretty good idea what, if anything, will be on the Nov. 2 ballot related to deconsolidation.
The council is covering its bases with Tuesday’s legislation: If the ordinance that would send deconsolidation to the voters in November is shot down or tabled, a second ordinance will be voted on that would let the parish decide in November on whether to amend the existing city-parish charter to give the council more time to redistrict the parish following the receipt of census numbers some time around next March.
Currently, the city-parish charter requires districts be redrawn at least six months before a council election. The City-Parish Council election is set for October 2011 — seven months after the likely receipt of census numbers. A redistricting plan that grows out of the census will need to be vetted by the state Bond Commission as well as the U.S. Department of Justice — a process that could take several weeks. Consequently, it’s likely the council would be unable to meet the “six months prior” requirement in the charter. The second, fall-back ordinance before the council Tuesday removes that six-month prescription. In fact, it was this dilemma that prompted council Chair Jay Castille to convene the charter committee that on Feb. 1 voted to send the deconsolidation ordinance to the council and, ultimately, to parish voters.
Tuesday’s council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council auditorium. To view a pdf of the agenda and related documents, click here.
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NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
NOV 21 With the passage of two amendments to Louisiana's much-amended constitution (it has been amended almost 200 times now) higher education has an even bigger target on its collective back, columnist Jim Beam opines in this post. Higher ed used to share the spotlight with health care, but that has changed, he says.
NOV 21 Here's a weird one: The Louisiana Cannabis Industry Association has endorsed Bill Cassidy for the U.S. Senate. Apparently, Mary Landrieu said she wouldn't consider support of medical marijuana but Cassidy said he would, WWL reports here.
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NOV 21 This post on the Fuel Fix blog outlines a $1.4 billion move announced this week by the Apache Corp. that includes the sale of assets in south Louisiana. The company's interests in more than 90,000 acres in south Louisiana are some of the assets being sold, the post reports.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
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NOV 20 Politico reports here that Bobby Jindal won't be kept out of the presidential race by anyone else's candidacy. (If he's running, which he's not, 'cause he's not done prayin' on it) So he's not interested in who is running, or what the polls say, or how much money he's got? K.
NOV 20 NOLA Defender's Tiny Daiquiri has a little fun with Bobby Jindal's Meet the Press appearance in this post. Bobby is still prayin' on whether or not he'll run for the job he's been running for over the past three years, Tiny says.
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