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City-Parish Council - To Split or Not To Split?

Aug 15, 2018 09:03AM ● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.

After 5 hours of debate at the regularly scheduled August 9th City-Parish Council meeting, the council voted 7-2 in favor of placing a proposed ordinance that would divide the council’s legislative functions by creating separate City and Parish Councils. 

 The proposed Charter Amendments will be on the December 8th ballot. If approved by the voters, the current nine-member City-Parish Council will be replaced by two separate five member councils, with one council representing the residents living within the City of Lafayette, and the other representing the residents living within Lafayette Parish, but not in an incorporated area.

The issue has sparked much debate over the timing of the proposed amendments, with many wanting to delay them until after the 2020 census numbers are received.   

In a mid-July press release from District 6 Council Member Bruce Conque, Mr. Conque stated, “There have been decades of discussion about the short-comings of the city-parish charter since it was adopted in 1992. This proposal presents our community the opportunity to have a discussion about a specific proposal, a version of which was first discussed in 2013.”

In addition to the city-parish split proposal, Lafayette Parish voters will also cast their ballots for charter amendments that include rolling over term-limits for the current council members, changing the percentage needed for a recall petition, and decide whether to approve two new parish-wide property taxes for the jail and district courts.

The August 9th council meeting lasted into the evening and the debate was heated at times. We will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available. For the latest on these and other local issues visit our website at www.MyParishNews.com or follow us on Facebook @ParishNews.  

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