Lafayette Parish voters in November will decide whether to amend the existing City-Parish Home Rule Charter to give the City-Parish Council more time to redraw council districts according to census figures received next March. Parish voters will not, however, decide on whether to repeal the charter itself and revert Lafayette Parish back to dual city and parish forms of government.
Bowing to an increasingly common sentiment that the push toward deconsolidation is moving much too quickly, the council Tuesday voted 5-4 to defer the deconsolidation ordinance for 90 days and to allow the council to appoint a committee to come up with a feasible timeline for putting such an ordinance before voters. The motion to defer the ordinance was offered by District 7 Councilman Don Bertrand, who said he’s uncomfortable with the alternative to repealing the charter. “The way [the ordinance] is written today,” Bertrand said, “it gives voters the opportunity to go back to the old charters for the city and the parish. I have some problems with the old charters.” Bertrand referred the former Lafayette city charter as “antiquated.”
Because the deconsolidation ordinance was deferred, by rule further discussion by the council or comments by the public were prohibited.
Instead, the council voted unanimously in favor of a fall-back ordinance that will place before voters in November an amendment to a section of the existing charter. It removes a requirement that council redistricting be completed at least six months before a council election. Because a council election is scheduled for October 2011 and the council isn’t expected to receive census numbers needed for the redistricting until March 2011 — and public hearings and approval by the state Bond Commission and U.S. Department of Justice would also be required — the council runs the risk of being in violation of the charter. The fall-back ordinance remedies that prospect by removing the “six months before” language from the charter.
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DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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