- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Two proposed changes to Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter will be on the Nov. 21 ballot.

The Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/1Jiaxya) the first proposal would change the title of the parish president to mayor/president. The second would expand the five-person planning and zoning commission to seven members.

City-Parish President Joey Durel said for years he has dealt with confusion about his title and he hoped the amendment would bring clarity to the position. “Even here in Louisiana, people can’t figure it out,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said I’m the mayor.”

The planning and zoning commission requested an increase in its size, Durel said, because the volunteer panel sometimes has difficulty getting a quorum of members.

The election also is about showing the City-Parish Council and voters that they don’t have to go through the charter commission process to amend the charter, Durel said Aug. 4 when the proposed changes were introduced.

The charter gives the council, with a two-thirds vote, the ability to bring proposed charter amendments to a vote of the people. But an attorney general’s opinion recommends a charter commission be used to initiate any changes to the charter. Durel said voting to put the amendments on the ballot is not setting a precedent. The council amended the charter before without going through a charter commission when it needed to meet a deadline regarding the U.S. Census, he said, and other parishes have done so, too.

In 1996, the governing authorities of the city of Lafayette and Lafayette Parish consolidated into the existing Lafayette Consolidated Government directed by the Home Rule Charter.

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Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com


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