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The city-majority council members have much to gain if the charter is repealed. Each is in his first term in office and, assuming the charter is repealed and a new city council with a three-term limit is (re)created, presumably each could try for what would amount to four consecutive terms in office.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.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.