The Lafayette Charter Commission voted Monday to seek an extension of its nine-month time line for coming up with a recommendation on the future of governance in Lafayette Parish, according to an article in today’s Advocate.

The commission began its work last August and currently has until April 21 to produce a recommendation. The nine-member panel has already created drafts of separate charters for the parish and the city, which are being reviewed by Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Legal Department. If separate charters eventually become the commission’s recommendation, it would effectively mean repealing the semi-consolidated form of government in place in the parish since 1996.

However, commissioners recently received a presentation from demographer Mike Hefner, who said he believes the parish’s districts can be redrawn so that the city of Lafayette maintains a 5-4 majority on the City-Parish Council and all the city districts would be wholly within the city. This would solve some of the vexing issues that precipitated the creation of the commission in the first place, notably governance of Lafayette Utilities System, a city-owned and -operated entity.

According to The Advocate, commissioners are asking for more time to digest new options presented in recent weeks, a presumed allusion to Hefner’s redistricting plan. (Lafayette Parish’s nine overlapping council and school board districts will be redrawn following the receipt of census figures later this month.)

The commission will need approval from the CPC for an extension. The Advocate further reports that District 2 Councilman Jay Castille, the only council member present at Monday’s meeting, indicated that he would vote against the extension.

Read more here.

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