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The city-majority council members have much to gain if the charter is repealed. Each is in his first term in office and, assuming the charter is repealed and a new city council with a three-term limit is (re)created, presumably each could try for what would amount to four consecutive terms in office.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.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
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The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
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Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
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Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.