Charter amendments on November ballot

Joey Durel (Photo: Advertiser file photo)

Two proposed changes to Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter will be on the Nov. 21 ballot.

The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday gave final approval to two resolutions, putting the two proposals before voters.

The first would change the title of the parish president to mayor/president. The second would expand the five-person planning and zoning commission to seven.

The resolutions were rewritten by attorneys with the Louisiana Secretary of State Office before going to the State Bond Commission on Thursday, City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert said Tuesday. The reworked resolutions don’t change the substance of the resolutions, he said.

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. It has never been amended.

Durel said the title of the chief executive officer of Lafayette Consolidated Government has been confusing through his three terms in office.

The planning commission for some time has requested additional appointments, in part because of problems meeting quorums, Durel said. The proposal would add one commissioner residing in the city and one outside the city.

On Monday, Durel sent a letter to the council advising that he is not signing budget ordinances for the 2015-16 budget that goes into effect Nov. 1. It is the last budget of his political career, since Durel cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

Durel said he was returning the budget ordinances unsigned because of council amendments throughout that increased expenditures by $966,483.

“While I understand that election year politics is at play, and I vehemently disagree with most of the additional spending, I have come to realize that the votes do not exist to prevent a veto override,” he wrote. “Obviously, I am disappointed in the council’s action and consider this to be highly irresponsible, but I have no desire to go through an exercise in futility.”

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