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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OCT 31 The National Journal posts another story from its visit to NOLA, this one about the struggling Vietnamese shrimpers in the area. The publication has been looking at how the state is recovering from Katrina, nine years later.
OCT 31 The New York Times posts this look at Louisiana politics, and how national issues are forcing out the old-time local politicking. Of course they mention EWE, aptly described as an old-time politician known for "charming one half of the state and mortifying the other."
OCT 31 Here's an AP story on the ABC site about Louisiana's chicken little response to an international medical conference planned in NOLA this weekend. Organizers (who are actual physicians, as opposed to the hand-wringing state officials who issued the edicts) say the orders are "unfortunate" given that a main focus of the meeting was Ebola.
OCT 31 Given the things Bobby Jindal has said and done since he's been governor, it's a pretty safe bet he thinks we're a bunch of dummies. Apparently, he's sure President Obama is one, too. This story on Huff Post quotes Jindal as saying the president - a graduate of Harvard Law - should sue to get his money back. (What should a Brown biology grad who doesn't believe in evolution do?)
OCT 31 Us old folks are used to a two-party system, although most of us aren't sold on its success. But what if that system wasn't in place; what if politics reflected the true level of diversity among voters? That's what an LSU student is dreaming of in this editorial. He sees the two parties' control of our politics as limiting.
OCT 31 And you thought the Senate race was dirty. This post on the Forward Now blog tells the story of a Shreveport mayoral campaign worker who was paid to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" an opponent's campaign. Karma's a beeotch, though, because turns out the guy really liked the "enemy," and now he's supporting her. For real.
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 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 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.
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