The Lafayette Charter Commission holds its penultimate meeting Monday evening, offering the last of two opportunities for the public to weigh in on what it believes the commission should ultimately recommend for a parishwide vote. While the nine-member panel’s trajectory of late has been toward amending the home rule charter, there remains a (remote) possibility that the commission could recommend separate charters and governmental structures for the city and the parish.
On Monday’s agenda are discussions of amending the charter to give a five-member “city” council within the nine-member City-Parish Council control over matters pertaining to city-owned Lafayette Utilities System; discussion of an amended charter that gives the city members control over all issues related only to the city; and discussion of separate charters for the city and the parish that would create separate councils with a mayor for the city of Lafayette and a parish president — effectively deconsolidating Lafayette Consolidated Government.
Four of the five charter commission members who live in the city of Lafayette appear to still favor separate charters, city commissioner Don Bacque being the exception. There was some huddling this past Thursday and Friday among charter commission members and at least one city-parish councilman at the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s annual Building Communities Conference, held at L’Auberge Du Lac Resort Casino in Lake Charles, according to a source, although none of the options the commission will discuss Monday gained or lost any traction.
In all likelihood there will be no small measure of final-furlong jockeying by the city commissioners to secure as much autonomy for the city of Lafayette as possible, if not outright repeal of the existing charter and the creation of separate city and parish charters.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday in the City-Parish Council auditorium at LCG.
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