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Councils to discuss moving polling place, suspension of raises

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Posted at 10:43 AM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 11:43:58-04

The Lafayette City Council and the Lafayette Parish Council will consider two ordinances next week that make changes due to COVID-19.

The councils will have their regular meetings, and their regular joint meeting, on July 7 starting at 5 p.m.

Among the items on the agenda is a joint ordinance of the councils that would suspending the two percent pay raise that was given to city-parish employees in 2019, because of the "economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic." The ordinance is set for introduction at Tuesday's meeting.

There are no documents attached to the proposed ordinance that provide any information about the "economic downturn." However, according to the most recent parish sales tax collection report, year-to-date collections for the city's two sales taxes are down .5 percent and 2.6 percent. That translates to a reduction in May collections alone for those two sales taxes of about $708,000 and $704,000. That same report indicates parish sales tax collections for May were down 13.7 percent, about $57,000, but for the year, parish sales tax collections are up 3.1 percent year-to-date.

Also on the agenda for the parish council is an emergency ordinance that would move the polling place usually located at the Broussard Community Center to the Martial Billeaud Elementary School. That's necessary, the ordinance states, because a senior center office is located in the community center, and the state is asking local governments to try to limit the exposure of seniors to public traffic, due to the pandemic.

Here is the schedule of Tuesday's meetings:

Lafayette Parish Council Regular Meeting on July 7, 2020 (5:00 pm);

Lafayette Parish Council Emergency Meeting July 7, 2020 (5:00 pm*) (immediately following the Parish Council Regular Meeting);

Special Joint Meeting on July 7, 2020 (5:30 pm* ) (immediately following the Parish Council Emergency Meeting);

Lafayette City Council Regular Meeting on July 7, 2020 (6:00 pm).

To look at the full agendas and read the ordinances for yourself, click here and click on July 7: http://www.lafayettela.gov/council/pages/agendas-minutes.aspx

Here are the Council's procedures, which have changed because of COVID-19:

ACCESSING COUNCIL MEETINGS & PUBLIC COMMENT PROCEDURES

Accessing Council Meetings:
• AOC2 Public Access Channel (Cox Channel 16 or LUS Fiber Channel 4)
• Online at the Lafayette Consolidated Government homepage at www.lafayettela.gov
• On the Ustream website at www.ustream.tv/channel/lafayette-consolidated-governmentcouncil-meeting
• In-person attendance allowed at 50% capacity of auditorium

Public Comment Procedures:

If you DO NOT WISH TO SPEAK, but wish to state your support for or opposition to an item:
▪ Submit your comments via e-mail to DoNotSpeakCM@lafayettela.gov
▪ In your message, you must identify which Council meeting agenda you are calling about (City or Parish), then include the agenda item number, your name and your position (for or against)
▪ Citizens still have the option to reach out to their individual Council Member(s)

If you DO WISH TO SPEAK:
▪ Public comments will be received via telephone at (337) 291-8428
▪ To prevent a backlog, staff will begin taking calls at 2:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting
▪ You must call in prior to the reading of the agenda item to be recognized
▪ When calling, only give your name, a call back number, and the agenda item
▪ Once the applicable agenda item is read during the meeting, you will be called to speak, in the order that your request was received
▪ The 5-minute rule will apply Please be advised that while social distancing and other requirements are in place, some matters have been suspended to focus on essential governmental business. While holding public meetings, safety guidelines will be implemented.