Written by Walter Pierce
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
And Theriot’s fellow parish-majority council member, Jared Bellard, was savvy in pointing out how many “best of” lists the city of Lafayette has landed on in the last few years before asking, “What is so broke with this government?” It had a rhetorical purity that would impress a debate team coach.
But where Theriot was off, from my admittedly city-centric point of view, was in intimating that preservation of political power is a bad thing. Political power means self-determination, a quality upon which the city of Lafayette now has but a tenuous grasp, and it’s a grasp that is slipping.
With Bellard I would agree that nothing is broken with consolidated government, but the machinery is fundamentally flawed. That critical defect, which from a city perspective has already begun stripping metallic fibrils from the gears, is that Lafayette Parish was never truly consolidated. The finances of the parish and city remain separate. And letting the small towns opt out of consolidation and remain separate has poisoned the pond. The only municipality in the parish that surrendered its sovereignty to consolidation was Lafayette and, giving comfort and quarter to cruel irony, it was city voters who were instrumental in securing consolidation’s victory at the ballot box in 1992.
The city, it seems to many within her bosom, has thrived in spite of consolidation.
Irrespective of one’s position on deconsolidation, last Tuesday was civics of a high order. One city-majority councilman who didn’t want to go on record told me after the meeting adjourned, “For maybe the first time since I was elected, I walked away from a council meeting feeling proud.” Humility in victory is the theme here. The four parish-majority councilmen stepped into a parliamentary Waterloo; with the quartet unified in its opposition to deconsolidation, its will was impregnable because of the mandate that a six-vote super majority is needed to advance deconsolidation to the ballot.
But the city bloc outmaneuvered, outflanked and outfoxed the parish guys. Purvis Morrison seemed resigned to it from the jump, wearily acknowledging the fait accompli. Jay Castille, who has taken to politics in two and a half years in office like a babe to the breast, brushed it off with aplomb. But Theriot and Bellard were clearly frustrated by the end run the city men did around the super majority requirement.
I can’t say yet that I favor repealing the charter, and I don’t speak for the editorial board at this paper, but giving the charter commission discretion to explore all options including deconsolidation was the right thing to do. The original ordinance tethered the charter commission to but a few options, none of which included repealing the charter.
And the way in which geography, not ideology, aligned these men — two Democrats and two Republicans from the parish versus two Democrats and three Republicans from the city — was proof that politics on the local level bears little resemblance to the bog on the Potomac.
Presumably the people appointed to the commission — five city residents and four from unincorporated Lafayette Parish — will be thoughtful, conscientious and engaged. If in their opinion and through their votes repeal of the charter is the best course, so be it, because no matter what the commission recommends, ultimately parish voters will decide. And that’s civics of the highest order.
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
The look of leather
1,595 rigs were exploring for oil and 332 for gas. A year ago there were 1,738 active rigs.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Historic three bedroom in Crowley or contemporary town house in Lafayette
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Hot style for fans (and beyond)
Four bedroom Acadian or three bedroom traditional
Prestigious honor annually recognizes a single attorney for excellence in public interest/pro bono work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
"I have never seen anyone who worked harder for our people than Sen. Mary Landrieu, so I would like to share a synopsis of a few of the many things she has done to help Louisiana."
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
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.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home