Charter Changes On Next Week’s Council Agenda
The agenda for Lafayette's City Parish Council meeting is now out, and there is one resolution and two introductory ordinances dealing with the changes that were made to Lafayette's Home Rule Charter by voters in December.
In the "Resolutions" section of the agenda, four council members have a request for an Attorney General's opinion on the charter issues. Those council members are Pat Lewis, Jared Bellard, Nanette Cook and William Theriot.
The following is how the item appears on Tuesday night's agenda:
R-015-2019 A resolution of the Lafayette City-Parish Council directing the Legal Department to solicit an opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General on the permissibility of reapportioning the Lafayette City Council Districts and the Lafayette Parish Council Districts specified in the amended Home Rule Charter adopted by the voters of Lafayette Parish on December 8, 2018 by ordinance of the Lafayette City-Parish Council. (Pat Lewis, Jared Bellard, Nanette Cook and William Theriot)
Under the section of "Introductory Ordinances" Councilman Jay Castille has two items up for consideration. They basically ask for changes, via ordinance, to clear up mistakes made to some districts and precints in the charter.
The two items are as follows:
48. O-041-2019 An ordinance of the Lafayette City-Parish Council amending Ordinance No. O-210-2018 of the Lafayette City-Parish Council and correct certain precinct designations and descriptions. (Jay Castille)
49. O-042-2019 An ordinance of the Lafayette City-Parish Council reapportioning the Lafayette City Council Districts and the Lafayette Parish Council Districts specified in the amended Home Rule Charter ratified by the voters of Lafayette Parish on December 8, 2018 and setting forth a new reapportionment plan describing each City Council District and Parish Council District, as reapportioned. (Jay Castille)
Mistakes that were included in the charter changes came to light when Lafayette Mayor/President Joel Robideaux spoke publicly that he had a conversation with Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who told him because of the mistakes, the validity of the December 8 election could be in question.
On Monday, February 25, Ardoin held a meeting with Robideaux, Council Chairman Jared Bellard and Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court Louis Perret. At the meeting, Ardoin basically said that it would be up to the council to decide how to proceed, but he strongly recommended that they get an Attorney General's opinion.
Castille has told KPEL the changes that are needed can be made through changes to ordinance, while others have said they wonder if a new election isn't warranted.
More to come on the story as it continues to develop.