Kevin Naquin, District 1, Lafayette City-Parish Council, issued the following statement on Drag Queen Story Time at the Lafayette Parish Public Library:
As the Chairman of the Lafayette City-Parish Council, I am sending the following message on behalf of the Council with reference to the Drag Queen Story Time event scheduled for October 6th, 2018 at the Main Library in Downtown Lafayette.
With expressions of passion, Council Members have received support for and opposition to the program. Further, there is a petition that is circulating for presentation to the Council voicing opposition to the Drag Queen Story Time. Similarly, there have been requests that the Council vote to either cancel or move the event to another location.
· The Council Members do not make decisions with reference to the day-to-day programming/services of the Lafayette Public Library (LPL).
· These decisions are made solely by the staff of the LPL and could only be overturned by its Board of Control, should the Board decide to consider the cancellation of any activities.
· The Lafayette City-Parish Council, as a whole, appoints seven (7) members to the eight-member Board of Control; however, the Council does not dictate Board actions or influence how its Members should vote. This is by design, as it is not the intent of the Council that political influences be impressed upon Board Members and their decisions.
· Unlike the Lafayette Mayor-President, who could either serve on the Board or appoint an officer or employee of Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) to serve on his behalf, no single Council Member has a direct or individual appointment to the Board. Again, appointments are made by the Council as a whole.
· The question has come up with reference to removing Board Members; however, there is no Council legislation that speaks to removal of LPL Board of Control Members. The Council appreciates the willingness of citizens who volunteer for these unpaid board positions, taking time away from their families to serve their community.
· The Council makes appointments as whole and/or direct appointments to 32-plus other LCG boards and commissions and does not interfere with the day-to-day decisions for those administrative and advisory bodies.
With that being said, the Council did not make the decision on the Drag Queen Story Time and is unable to cancel or modify the program, which was approved by the Library Director and staff. By no means is this intended to signal that the Council is taking a stand “for” or “against” the program. As this matter continues to be debated, it should be clear that the Council does not make the final decision on whether the Drag Queen Story Time is held.
Disclaimer: Council Districts 5 and 9 are not included on this press release.