The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that would grant a 2 percent pay raise to employees of Lafayette Consolidated Government. The measure was approved as an introductory ordinance on Dec. 7 by a vote of 6-2. Councilmen Jay Castille, Brandon Shelvin, Kenneth Boudreaux, Jared Bellard, Sam Dore and Don Bertrand voted in favor; Keith Patin and William Theriot cast nay votes. (Purvis Morrison was absent.)
City-Parish President Joey Durel hadn’t budgeted a pay raise for LCG employees — the first year a pay raise was omitted from a budget since 2001 — in his 2010-2011 fiscal year budget released last summer. However, citing better than anticipated sales tax collections in the second half of FY 2009-2010, Durel asked council members to convene a special meeting to vote on the measure. At that Dec. 7 special meeting, LCG Chief Financial Officer Becky Lalumia told council members that the raise will help offset, but will not completely cover, an increase in the cost city-parish employees incurred for LCG’s group health insurance plan.
Civil Service Director Mike Sands also recommended the pay hike, telling the council it will help maintain hiring rates at LCG. In a recent email, Durel also defended the pay increase along the same lines, deflecting suggestions that the raise is politically calculated: “I don’t make decisions based on how it will affect my election; I make decisions based on information I have available and trying to run an efficient government that positions Lafayette for a great future,” Durel replied. “I doubt that many business people would think that rewarding and retaining employees by giving a minimal pay increase — based on available funds — is being a big spender. I hear people often say that we should run government like a business. We are.”
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JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
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JUL 22 Columnist Jim Beam finds recent news out of Baton Rouge depressing. It seems every time you turn around there's another mess being uncovered or announced in state government, he says. Say what you want about Congress; in Louisiana we have nothing to brag about, either, he says.
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JUL 22 LaPolitics examines the news that a bipartisan group of legislators filed court papers Monday asking a judge to decide if BESE followed proper procedure in installing Common Core as the curriculum to be followed by state teachers. The allegation is that BESE didn't do that, by failing to open a comment period and shirking legislative oversight. Great, but where were these guys back when the decision was actually made?
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JUL 22 This post on Gambit is an interesting look at an age-old discussion among people who live and work in urban areas - is graffiti property damage or public art? There are a lot of voices in this story, covering a lot of the bases of this conflict.
JUL 21 Education Week's EdWatch blog takes a look at our current snafu over Common Core in this post. To anyone outside the state, we certainly look like a bunch of dummies who can't agree on something as critical as what to teach our kids. That's good - right?
JUL 21 Rob Marciano, a former meteorologist at KPLC in Lake Charles, has been named senior weather guy at ABC, this post on TVNewser reports. In between those gigs he worked for CNN and Entertainment Tonight.
JUL 21 This story on The ABC out of Australia gives Louisiana some international notoriety that we really don't want. According to this story, Louisiana is one of the fastest-disappearing land masses on the planet. The planet. So, obviously we need to hold off on that levee board suit, because making Big Oil mad is much more serious than this.
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