Ultimately it will be the voters of Lafayette Parish — city, unincorporated, smaller municipalities — who will decide whether to chuck the city-parish charter and return to dual city and parish forms of government. But penultimately the Lafayette City-Parish Council must make it possible, and the vote to advance an ordinance to the ballot box will require a 6-3 super-majority. That’s not likely. Here’s how we think it will shake out:
FOR: Brandon Shelvin (District 3), Kenneth Boudreaux (District 4), Don Bertrand (District 7), Keith Patin (District 8)
The city-majority council members have much to gain if the charter is repealed. Each is in his first term in office and, assuming the charter is repealed and a new city council with a three-term limit is (re)created, presumably each could try for what would amount to four consecutive terms in office.
Boudreaux and Patin, who both voted for the deconsolidation recommendation as members of the charter committee, are on board with scrapping the city-parish charter. Bertrand says he’s on the fence and feels like we’re moving too quickly, but adds, “It would be hard for me not to give the people of the city of Lafayette and the parish the opportunity to vote on something.”
Like Boudreaux, Shelvin represents an economically challenged part of the city that stands to benefit if the parish is jettisoned and the city focuses its resources on itself.
AGAINST: Purvis Morrison (District 1), Jared Bellard (District 5), William Theriot (District 9)
Morrison is on record dead set against repealing the charter. “When I ran [for office] I can specifically remember people asking us not to be this north side-south side, east side-west side council,” he says. “They wanted us to be a total council for this parish, and now we’re coming out in our third year [in office] and we’re talking about deconsolidating. This parish is not that big, and to pit the parish against the city is not the right direction.”
Theriot says he’s keeping an open mind, but neither he nor Bellard have any apparent motivation in voting for deconsolidation; they would effectively be voting themselves out of Lafayette government since neither lives in the city limits.
X FACTORS: Jay Castille, (District 2), Sam Dore (District 6)
Castille’s district is 48 percent city, 52 percent rural and Carencro, so he’s the most likely to be divided. He tells The Independent he prefers to amend the charter to make it a more workable document, yet he joined the committee on Feb. 1 in voting unanimously to put a deconsolidation ordinance before the council. But he also says we’re going at this too fast: “I still believe the people have the right to vote on their type of government, but I also believe they have the right to have the information they need to make an educated vote.”
Dore, the LPUA chairman, represents the district that is most overwhelmingly city residents. But he, too, is wary of giving up on consolidation, and he says he’s hearing the same from his constituents. “I don’t believe that consolidation is working the way it should or that it could,” he says, “and I think we could make some hard choices and improve on the way it works. But scrapping it? Man, I don’t know.”
Dore and Castille both sound more likely to vote against a deconsolidation ordinance. So where does that leave us? Four in favor, five against. Two votes short of even making it onto a ballot.
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.
The festival is scheduled for March 21-22 in New Orleans.
NOLA Bowl ready prints
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, December 10, 2013:
For the first time in at least five years, retired teachers, state workers and school system employees could see an increase in their pension checks.
Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.
The Cane Fire Film Series will be screening The Savoy King, a feature documentary on Swing-era drummer-bandleader Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, and Harlems Savoy Ballroom.
The teams were extended invitations Sunday for the New Year's Day matchup played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Outfit Of The Game looks at jewelry.
Holiday party with style
Funds will expand Early College Academy from 250 to 1,000 students
Let ’em know and you could win a $250 night out.