Commish preparing separate city and parish charters
The Lafayette Charter Commission will decide Monday evening whether to forward drafts of separate city and parish charters to Lafayette Consolidated Government’s legal department as well as to the New Orleans attorney who advises LCG on bonding issues. The nine-member commission has been meeting since last August and must make a recommendation for changes to governance in Lafayette Parish by April 20. Since the fall the commission has gravitated toward the creation of a separate council and mayor for the city of Lafayette, although LCG attorney Pat Ottinger says separate charters for the city and the parish may not be the end result of the commission’s work.
“They’re at the point of wanting to put the packages together and send it to the legal department for a review,” Ottinger says. “It’s been kind of a patchwork quilt, if you will, so they’re asking us to finesse the language and make it a clean document. As far as I know it is a separate charter for the parish and for the city, which does not necessarily mean that’s where [the process] will end up. But they’re at the point where they’re needing to have it looked at from a legal perspective of language and uniformity and formatting and continuity and things of that type.”
Also on Monday’s commission agenda is discussion of a “tweaked” Lafayette Home Rule Charter. Commissioners last week were given a presentation from demographer Mike Hefner, who told The Independent that working with the 2000 census he was able to redistrict Lafayette Parish in such a way that five CPC/school board districts entirely within the city and four districts entirely outside the city could be created. Hefner added that he’s confident the same can be done when the parish redistricts following the receipt of 2010 census figures next month.
If Hefner is correct, many of the concerns about the city of Lafayette’s sovereignty and self-determination that led to the creation of the charter commission last year could likely be addressed without creating a separate city of Lafayette council. However, some commission members have expressed reservations about such a plan, noting that the current charter allows the city-parish president to be elected from anywhere in the parish and that a city-parish president who isn’t from the city may not have the city’s best interests at heart.
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.
DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly