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.
Newcomer to Top 50 among five companies selected for Naval contract
INDstyle 2014 brings down house
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released by the U.S. Labor Department.
Texas declined by five rigs, West Virginia dropped three and Louisiana was down two.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
Three bedroom patio home or three bedroom traditional
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ramsey Morein prepares an old Cajun classic also known as chaudin in this latest episode of filmmaker Stephen Meaux's culinary series.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
We’re in the second year of the second term of the first black president of the United States. And so it might seem that as Americans, as a nation, we have come a long way. And perhaps we have. But the recent killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., left me angry and sad. Here we go again, I thought.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
In what world does it make sense to balance the budget for a public school system by cutting schools from the poorest neighborhoods?
A supporter of a lawsuit against the oil industry has been re-nominated to a seat on a south Louisiana flood control board despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal.
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
Two bedroom cottage or four bedroom traditional
D.A. Mike Harson gets a gift from a federal judge as he tries to hang onto his job.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The eclectic beauty of modern, prints, boho
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
The nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East was set Thursday to nominate applicants for two people on the board whose terms have expired.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
Restaurant could see ‘a little facelift,’ Bobby Butcher tells Daily Report.