The long-standing debate over deconsolidation continues in Lafayette.
Earlier this year, the City Council appointed a Protect the City committee to study whether consolidation is working for the city.
They're out with their draft report-- and presenting it to the public all this week in a series of town halls.
The draft report suggests the current form of government is not working for the city, but the public seems split about what to do.
Comments and questions about the future of consolidated government filled the auditorium in the town hall hosted Wednesday by councilman Pat Lewis and Glenn Lazard. Some in favor of separating the city and parish.
"Lafayette can supply the parish with low-cost services through the departments that they already have. Let the parish enter governmental agreements with the city of Lafayette for those services if they're a far better deal than the parish could obtain by trying to set up its own IT department, its own financial risk management functions,” said Lafayette citizen Andrew Duhon.
Others worry about the consequences of deconsolidation.
"They'll call and say that they want to locate here, then told 'That's not the city, that's the parish,' or 'That's Carencro you got to go talk to.' You want to talk to one administration that can kind of give you some general guidelines,” said Dean Coleman.
The draft report is the latest chapter in what's been an ongoing debate in Lafayette.
"It's not an us versus them argument. It's not a city versus parish argument. This is us, the city residents asking how do we want to be governed. And I believe most people believe that we want to be governed by a city mayor, we want to be governed more by a city,” said PTC member Roddy Bergeron.
"As far as the committee members and myself, we do not want to do anything that would hinder the parish in any way. We want to make sure that the city and the parish gets its own fair share. The way it seems as though Lafayette is not,” said councilman Pat Lewis.
Through these town hall meetings, the committee is hoping to use some of the feedback before sending a final report to the city later this year.
If you missed tonight's town hall, there are others happening over the next week, including two Thursday night. Then, there is a town hall next Monday at the ACA and a public hearing at LCG next Tuesday.
City Council Member Nanette Cook (District 4) hosts Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, June 17, 2021
South Regional Library – Large Conference Room
6101 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
City Council Member Andy Naquin (District 2) hosts Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Robichaux Recreation Center
1919 Eraste Landry Rd, Lafayette, LA 70506
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