The office of state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is short-changing Lafayette through its failure to render a timely opinion on what the Lafayette Charter Commission may recommend in a parishwide referendum on consolidated government. The commission, which began meeting last summer, must make a recommendation by April 20 — just over a month away — and has been waiting for weeks for Caldwell to opine whether a multiple-choice referendum can go on the ballot.
In the meantime, commissioners have abandoned what for many in the city of Lafayette was a preferred end point — autonomy. Gone from the commission agenda is any mention of separate charters for the city of Lafayette and the parish. The commission two weeks ago abandoned that talk in favor of what may be called “the Hefner plan” — a redrawing of the nine council and school board districts so that five are entirely within the city of Lafayette corporate limits and four are outside of that — named after demographer and former school board member Mike Hefner, who has said he believes it’s possible to redraw districts in this way.
Commissioners spent a few months on a trajectory toward creating a separate council and mayor for the city to complement a parish council and parish president — or to at least put the idea before voters. But that also had the commission headed toward recommending a multiple choice ballot to go before a parishwide vote this fall asking voters whether they want, A) separate charters for the city and parish, with councils and chief executives for each, or, B) modifications to the existing consolidated charter.
The commission meets Monday evening and the major item of business is, “Discussion of Consolidated Charter with five (5) City districts and four (4) Parish districts.”
A multiple-choice referendum remains an option if Caldwell gives his blessing, but as of Monday morning, commissioner Bruce Conque says they’ve heard nothing from Caldwell’s office on the issue.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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