With an April 20 deadline approaching for its recommendation(s) on changes to Lafayette’s form of city-parish government — or repeal or radical modification of the charter — members of the Lafayette Charter Commission anticipate an opinion from the state attorney general’s office by the end of the month.
The commission, through City-Parish Attorney Pat Ottinger, requested an opinion from the AG’s office a few months ago on whether a sitting council’s job description can be modified based on the results of a city-wide or parish-wide referendum concerning the Lafayette Home Rule Charter. Ottinger, in what may be his final major act of counseling for consolidated government — he announced his resignation last month and is expected to be replaced Feb. 1 — says Monday he met last week with an assistant attorney general who said the opinion is forthcoming.
City-Parish Council elections are in October, but a referendum stemming from the commission could also be on the same ballot. While state law prohibits ending an elected officials term early due to a change to the charter, commissioners want to know, in the event a referendum is approved creating a separate council and mayor for the city of Lafayette, if the duties of the City-Parish Council elected in October and sworn into office in January 2012 can be modified.
If the AG says yes, this could open the door for elections for a Lafayette City Council and mayor sometime in 2012. If the AG says no, the city of Lafayette will likely have to wait until fall 2016 — the end of the four-year term of the CPC elected this fall — before it can vote on a new mayor and city council, assuming a referendum clearing the way for a new mayor and council is approved by voters.
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NOV 24 Because of a town ordinance, the police will come to a disabled girl's home this week to take away her service dog and kill him. Sound like a bad Lifetime movie? Nope - it's real life in Moreauville, blogger Lamar White Jr. tells us in this post. The dog's crime? Being born a pit bull. What's the reason for this ordinance? Well, the town fathers are a little vague on that one. Maybe Obama?
NOV 24 Columnist Stephanie Grace is writing about Bobby Jindal's continuing refusal to accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid. It's purely an attempt to benefit him politically, meaning the decision is "cruel, short-sighted and remarkably self-centered." Well, yeah. Have you met him?
NOV 24 The New York Times editorial board is writing about the 40 years that Albert Woodfox has spent in solitary confinement in this post, calling it "barbaric beyond measure." Since Richard Nixon was president, the man has been in solitary in Angola Plantation Penitentiary. How is that OK with us?
NOV 24 The GOP has a boogie-man for anybody thinking about voting for Mary Landrieu: President Obama. But the Dems have one for Bill Cassidy, too, Melinda Deslatte writes in this AP post on The Reading Eagle -- and his name is Governor Jindal.
NOV 24 Blogger Bob Mann is blogging about race and the Senate campaign in this post. Sure, everybody knows that Mary Landrieu doesn't do too well with white folks, but how come the GOP can't get arrested in the black community? Bob is asking.
NOV 24 Early voting for the December election began Saturday, and this post on NOLA Defender tells us what Mary and Bill were up to. The polls and the pundits have their opinions, but none of that can replace actual voting, NODEF says.
NOV 24 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about Bruce Greenstein's grand jury testimony in this post. The former state health secretary testified in an investigation into the lucrative contract Louisiana awarded to his former employer. Apparently, Mr. Greenstein has a bit of the C.R.S. disease.
NOV 24 Last week, an SUV carrying a blended Texas family overturned on the Interstate near Shreveport, killing the parents and three of their kids, and seriously injuring two other kids. According to this story in the Dallas Morning News, the DA has exercised some compassion and dismissed the ticket given to the teen who was driving.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
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