There’s a Cold War between the mayor-president and the City Council that could flare up at any time. The city faces a slew of controversial issues, while the parish’s finances continue to teeter on the brink of collapse, and consolidation is put on trial. These are the major stories I’ll be tracking at LCG this year.
Link: Lafayette City Council to consider committee to explore deconsolidation, separate city mayor — The Advocate
City Councilman Pat Lewis will propose a resolution creating a committee to weigh the benefit of consolidation for the city of Lafayette. Called the “Protect the City Committee,” the group would evaluate the costs and limitations of Lafayette’s current form of government, which combines city and parish services and departments.
A 2018 parishwide vote created separate city and parish councils, Lafayette Consolidated Government’s current configuration, but kept administration functions consolidated under the mayor-president.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory supported deconsolidation as a candidate but has recently acknowledged flipping his position on the issue. Guillory and the City Council have been at frequent odds.
Council Preview 1/5 — Lafayette surveillance cameras, more CARES Act funding, conditional pay raises for city marshal’s office, board and commission seats
The gist: After a holiday hiatus, the work of consolidated government resumes with a pair of relatively light agendas. On tap: electing officers, budgeting CARES Act funding and getting answers on a surveillance camera contract awarded to a private firm without council approval.
The contract licenses Lafayette police to use the camera footage for “law enforcement purposes” only but appears to place no such restriction on the firm, which will own, maintain and operate the cameras — and the data it collects.
Council Preview 12/2: More money for the Less Pay redevelopment, Downtown curfew for minors, revising the UDC
The gist: A relatively lightweight pair of council meetings is again on deck this week: another developer looking for more public subsidies, new grants for the police department, and the administration seeking to establish new restrictions on minors relative to their use of electric bikes and scooters and late-night access to Downtown. Bigger news is on the horizon, though, as […]
The gist: After the torrid pace of recent months, the agendas for both of this week’s council meetings are relatively light. There are some big discussion items to watch: redevelopment of the old federal courthouse and filling long-vacant director positions.
For the city to control its own affairs, this failed experiment in consolidation must end so our city can be free to govern itself.
Council Preview 11/4: Parish taxes may be going up and down, a developer asks for a handout, Guillory pushes for symbolic funding for police and fire
The gist: A new .2% parishwide sales tax may be coming up for public vote to help fix the parish’s broken budget. The old federal courthouse developers don’t want to pay more in property taxes. Police and fire may get more money without actually getting more money. And the privatization of city and parish parks continues.
Council Preview 10/20: Funding LCG pay raises, City Council grows impatient, offloading parish parks and rent assistance
The gist: This meeting presents several items at the root of recent confrontation between members of the City Council and mayor-president. Items addressing the council’s bid for independent legal representation, the ongoing LUS investigation and finding permanent leadership for it, LUS Fiber, parks and recreation and the police department are all on that agenda. Plus, the Parish Council is moving […]
While Lafayette’s economic forecast isn’t bright, it’s not near as dark as the mayor-president has made it out to be. That means the City Council can avoid drastic cuts.
Council Preview 9/15: Overriding mayor’s veto of a lawyer for the City Council, money for rental assistance, controversial “no standing” law
The gist: While Tuesday’s meetings shouldn’t hit marathon status, there’s still a lot to cover including some brewing controversies: a parishwide “no standing” ordinance fought by advocates for the homeless and the ACLU, a proposal to spend $3.5 million in parish dollars to fix a dilapidated garage, and a public hearing for 16 different properties whose owners are protesting their […]
Council Preview 9/1: Higher taxes, fighting for city autonomy, millions in new spending, new restrictions on citizens
The gist: Tax increases, budget battles, new restrictions on citizens, short-term rentals, millions of dollars being spent on parish parks and the Buchanan garage are just some of what the councils will work through at tomorrow night’s meetings. All of this is set against a backdrop of rapidly deteriorating race relations and an increasingly embattled mayor-president.