The IND blog reports that Lafayette City-Parish attorney Pat Ottinger has given the guidelines for Lafayette citizens to take initiative in voting for de-consolidation of the city-parish government. According to Ottinger, rather than parish voters having to wait on the city-parish council to pass an ordinance allowing the measure to go before voters on the ballot, parish voters can file a petition with the council, then will have to gain signatures from 20 of Lafayette Parish residents within 60 days.
There are differing opinions on how a council vote would shake out. Conventional thinking bets on the ordinance failing, gaining only 5 of the 6 votes needed, with all 4 councilmen whose districts are mostly outside the city of Lafayette voting against.
But Mayor-President Joey Durel has been on radio arguing that de-consolidation would be bad for Lafayette Parish. Is Mayor Durel against de-consolidation? If so, then certainly his lapdog, Don Bertrand, one of the councilmen representing the city of Lafayette, would vote against the ordinance as well, right?
But on the other hand, Mayor Durel and Councilman Bertrand, both Republicans, though certainly not promoters of less government and less taxes, do not care much for the “parish” councilmen, in particular William Theriot and Jerred Bellard. How to fix the problems they cause? Eliminate them.
This also raises another possible issue, at least for the anti-speed camera crowd in Lafayette. If Ottinger’s interpretation is correct, then maybe the anti-Redflex groups should file for a real petition soon as well.
In other news, the bar tax. KVOL drive home show host, Lou Rom, argued yesterday that the restaurants and bars are the driving force behind Downtown Lafayette’s rejuvenation. He pointed out, pretty accurately, that other attempts for a non-nightlife sustainability of Downtown, specifically housing and mixed used developments, have failed.
Can the Downtown Development Authority address this failure with a different strategy? If not, then the anti-bar crowd downtown needs to come to grips that the success of their Downtown business ventures relies solely on the success of the nightlife.