Joey Durel, Lafayette City-Parish Council

Tuesday night the Lafayette City-Parish Council voted down a proposed introductory ordinance that sought to reappoint a charter commission to look into ways to tweak the Lafayette consolidated charter.

A visibly perplexed Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel stopped by “Mornings with Ken and Bernie” for his weekly “Lafayette Live” segment to discuss the struck down ordinance and explain why he believes the decision was not in the city's best interest.

Durel pulled no punches when reflecting on the council's decision to strike down the proposed ordinance, denying the people an opportunity to vote on the creation of a new charter.

How do you pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and not support what it stands for? I don't understand how you can possibly deny the people the right to have a discussion. - Joey Durel

The candid City-Parish President remained in disbelief, reiterating that Tuesday night's decision was both rare and perplexing.

I can only count five times in the time I've been in office where the council didn't give the courtesy to introduce an ordinance to allow there to be a discussion. It doesn't mean they will allow the ordinance, it means they'll at least have a discussion.

There's certain things you can and can't bring to a vote, but this one clearly has to go to a vote of the people. To have a council to be that arrogant to determine how the people are governed, that's pretty stunning to me. - Joey Durel

The charter commission vote was largely the result of the proposed Fair and Balanced plan introduced by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. The Fair and Balanced plan would redraw district lines. The council would remain at nine members, but the five Lafayette council members would have exclusive control on matters relating to the city, a sort of council within a council. This redistricting, Durel believes, is the reason why the charter commission was shot down.

You have to realize that part of this is that a particular councilman would have to run against his political ally of his if one of the things that comes out of the charter commission voted on by the people is the Fair and Balanced Plan, which would give the city 5 councilmen from within the city. - Joey Durel

A distraught Durel could hardly find the words to describe his feelings in the wake of the decision.

I was stunned. I'm tired of the hypocrisy, people talking about being patriotic and then… I don't know if I'm angry or disappointed, I don't know, I feel hollow about it. I'm just lost. - Joey Durel


To listen to the full interview, click the play button below.