Create separate city and parish councils
The proposal will amend the Lafayette City-Parish Charter to create separate councils for the City of Lafayette and the Parish of Lafayette. It will restore autonomy to the City of Lafayette, which is now governed in part by Council members who don’t live in the City and who have substantial constituencies outside of the City. It will also create an independent Parish Council, focused squarely on Parish issues and not distracted by City issues.
Clarify what's needed to change LUS
The proposed charter amendments would provide that the Lafayette City Council be the governing authority of LUS. That is an appropriate change, because right now, the City-Parish Council has the final sign-off authority over LUS issues – meaning, for example, that representatives who don’t live in the City have the ability to decide LUS rates. The amendments would also require any proposal for management of a substantial part of the Lafayette Utilities System to be approved by a vote of the people in the City of Lafayette at an election called by the Lafayette City Council. Right now, that sort of issue could be decided by the City-Parish Council without a vote of the people.
It will not:
Make changes to LUS
The proposal will only clarify who would govern LUS under a split council and that a separate city-wide vote would be needed to make any ownership or management changes. No changes to LUS are on the ballot at this time.
Reset Term Limits
The effect on term limits was one of the main objections to the proposal when it was initially taken up by the City-Parish Council. The Council acknowledged these criticisms and amended the proposal so that their current terms will continue to count toward the new term limits. All current term limits will remain in effect.
These charter amendments have no effect on taxes. But if you believe that an elected official should not decide how to spend your tax dollars unless they pay the same taxes you do, then you should support these amendments because under the current system, Council members who live outside of the City of Lafayette have a vote on how to spend City tax dollars – and they can vote to call for a new tax election, too. Splitting the Council lets you hold your elected officials responsible for the tax-related decisions they make in a way that you cannot now.