An ordinance up for final adoption Tuesday before the Lafayette City-Parish Council could be the opening salvo in a battle by the city of Lafayette to regain its sovereignty from consolidated government. Ordinance 074 by council Chairman Jay Castille creates a charter commission charged with “reviewing, study and proposing revisions, additions or amendments” to the current Lafayette City-Parish Home Rule Charter, which has been in effect since 1996. What the ordiance doesn’t do in its current form is grant the commission the authority to recommend repeal of the charter. That’s where the five council members who represent majority city districts come in.
The city bloc — Brandon Shelvin, Kenneth Boudreaux, Sam Dore, Don Bertrand and Keith Patin — intends to unite as a simple majority on the 9-member council and force an amendment to the ordinance giving the commission wider purview in what it recommends, including repeal of the charter and a return to dual city and parish forms of government. As written, the ordinance promises to lead to the creation of a city-centric commission: four of the nine commission members will appointed by the city-majority council members, two will be appointed by City-Parish President Joey Durel and the remaining three will be appointed by the council members whose districts are majority non-city of Lafayette.
The charge to amend the ordinance is being led by Bertrand, who tells The Independent he's confident the other four city-majority council members will vote in unison. Bertrand told us last week, “It’s going to give the commission full authority to look at the best-case scenario for the parish, whether that be Lafayette’s governed by itself, just like the other communities are, or consolidation for the entire parish. But it’s going to take the handcuffs off of them.”
The CPC meetings begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council auditorium. Click here to read the full agenda.
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