Lafayette Council Shoots Down Proposed Plan To Re-Appoint Charter Commission
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- Lafayette City-Parish Council members Tuesday night struck down 5-4 a proposed introductory ordinance that would have sought to reappoint a charter commission to look into ways to tweak the Lafayette consolidated charter.
"Disappointing," said Bruce Conque, the now vice-president of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. "This issue needs to be addressed. There are other options that are available. We need to examine those options. I think the citizens of Lafayette and the citizens of the Parish of Lafayette need to be heard. They need to voice their opinions on this."
Odon Bacque and Conque, members of the 2010 charter commission that recommended a deconsolidation measure that ultimately failed at the ballot box, had urged council members to at least pass the introductory ordinance, even if they disagreed with it.
"What we're really asking you all to do is to let the citizens decide. Let the citizens vote on whether or not the charter should be revised," Bacque said. "People talk about government and how government isn't responsive. Government can be responsive by letting the people make the final decision."
Each of the original charter commission members was willing to join a new commission if asked to serve, Conque said.
Kevin Blanchard, a Lafayette attorney, said, although he was critical of the original commission's deconsolidation plan, that "it's been a long enough time to go an revisit this issue."
"I think [the original charter commission has] recognized that putting deconsolidation on the ballot was not a true choice," Blanchard said. "We told people we had a problem with our charter, but instead of offering a real fix and a real way to save consolidation, we asked them to throw it out. This is an opportunity to have a real fix."
Council members Keven Naquin, district 1; Jay Castille, district 2; Jared Bellard, district 5; Andy Naquin, district 6; and William Theriot, district 9 voted against the ordinance. Brandon Shelvin, district 3; Kenneth Boudreaux, district 4; Donald Bertrand, district 7; and Keith Patin, district 8 voted for the ordinance.