The Lafayette City-Parish Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a resolution that would set Oct. 22 as the day voters in the parish decide whether our 15-year-old consolidated government should continue. Pending approval from the state Bond Commission, the referendum before voters would ask whether the existing Lafayette Home Rule Charter should be replaced with both a charter for the city of Lafayette and a charter for Lafayette Parish.

One of the quirks of this electoral process is that, although the smaller municipalities of Broussard, Carencro, Duson, Scott and Youngsville are autonomous from Lafayette Consolidated Government — they elected to opt out of LCG when the current form of consolidation took effect in 1996 — they still elect representatives to the City-Parish Council and will still get a say in whether LCG is replaced with separate city- and parish governments. More precisely, the autonomous small towns will help decide whether the city of Lafayette enjoys the same level of autonomy as they do.

In fact, it was largely the city of Lafayette’s lack of self-governance, especially in matters pertaining to city-owned Lafayette Utilities Service, that prompted the formation of the Lafayette Charter Commission last summer. After nine months of weekly meetings, the commission in April recommended what is effectively deconsolidation.

The council is required by law to set the election and is prohibited from amending the ballot proposition created by the charter commission. To read the referendum, click here.

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