The Lafayette Charter Commission will get the 101 on operations of Lafayette Utilities System from Director Terry Huval during its Monday meeting.
LUS is probably the biggest bone of contention regarding the Lafayette Home Rule Charter. The charter designates the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority — the five city-majority council members — as the governing body for the public utility. But while the LPUA votes on matters related to LUS, the full, nine-member council has routinely voted as well, setting up a scenario in which non city-majority council members’ votes override the will of the LPUA. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a very real possibility.
Some city-majority council members have questioned why their votes should carry the same weight as the votes of council members who represent very few city residents. (Each of the four “parish” council members represent some city residents served by LUS; preventing them from voting on LUS issues would effectively disenfranchise the city residents they represent, hence the dual votes by the LPUA and the full council.)
Next spring, when the parish gets the results from this year’s census and redraws district boundaries, there’s a possibility that representation on the council could shift from five city-four parish reps to four city-five parish reps, in which case the LPUA, as delineated in the charter, would by law become a four-person panel. That in turn poses the risk that the LPUA could become deadlocked by 2-2 ties.
The charter commission will likely look at ways to rectify these issues by considering, among other things, removing LUS authority from the council and giving it to an appointed board comprising city residents. A weighted vote — that is, each council member’s vote is in direct proportion to the number of city residents he represents — may also come under consideration.
Commissioners will receive briefings on the various boards and commissions under the Lafayette Consolidated Government umbrella, as well as hear from the mayors of the other municipalities, in the coming weeks. The commission is scheduled to begin deliberations on Nov. 1.
The charter commission meets at 5:30 p.m. in the City-Parish Council auditorium. The meeting is open to the public.
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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