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.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the leash law. Well, that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly