Lafayette Charter Dialogue May Reopen
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Two city-parish councilmen want a committee formed to consider proposed changes to Lafayette's city-parish home rule charter.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/O8KoWS) a charter commission recommended last year that voters decide whether to dismantle. Voters rejected the concept in October.
Councilman Keith Patin said he's received requests from residents who want the dialogue to continue.
Some options discussed by the charter commission included creating a separate Lafayette city council, while preserving other aspects of city-parish government.
Concerns at the time centered on council members who represent rural areas having an equal vote on city-centered services.
While voters rejected dissolving city-parish government, they also sent a message that some changes are needed, council member Kenneth Boudreaux said.
The council's balance of power is an issue because despite the consolidation of some aspects of the city and parish governments in 1996, the city of Lafayette remains a distinct legal entity, with separate taxes and its own police and fire departments as well as a publicly owned utility system.
Five members represent largely city districts and four members represent districts mainly outside of the city. Any charter amendments would voter require approval.
Councilman Don Bertrand said he would like to see any amendments that develop placed on the April 2013 ballot.
Boudreaux asked Council Chairman Jared Bellard to organize a committee to consider proposed changes.
Bellard said he would consider the request.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com