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LCG Joint Council proposal opposing closure of 4 recreation centers is dead

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 00:12:34-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Joint Council failed to introduce an ordinance opposing the closure of four recreation centers after parish council members failed to second a motion to introduce the ordinance, which killed it and ended the meeting before public comments were heard.

Audience members could be heard off camera yelling at council members to "represent the whole parish" and push the motion forward.

The ordinance was from the Lafayette City and Parish Councils opposing the closures of four recreation centers on the north side of Lafayette, the laying off of 37 civil service Recreation Department employees and directing the Lafayette Mayor-President to maintain all and the positions they occupy and to keep all centers open.

According to the city attorney, a joint introductory ordinance must be approved by a motion to introduce and seconded by both the city and parish councils.

All five parish council members were present for the vote, but two of the five city council members, Liz Hebert and Andy Naquin, were not present for the vote.

KATC's Chris Welty will have more tonight at 5, 6 and 10.

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POSTED JULY 27, 2020

Two members of the Lafayette City Council have a special joint meeting of the councils tomorrow that would halt the closure of four rec centers and layoff of 37 employees.

The ordinance, presented by councilmen AB Rubin and Pat Lewis, would put the kibash on Mayor-President Josh Guillory's plan to close four rec centers on the northside and layoff 37 employees in the Parks and Recreation Department.

Guillory says LCG has to close four recreation centers, all on the Northside, characterizing LCG's funding of one of its own departments as "subsidizing."

To read our stories about that, click here, here and here.

There have been several protests against the plan, and a petition started to oppose it. To see the petition, click here.

The ordinance would require that the current budget and the proposed budget reflect the continued operation of those centers and the continued employment of those 37 people.

As justification, the ordinance points out that the council hasn't been given time to review documentation of the shortfalls that Guillory alleges in the budget, and that the last three months of the fiscal year are the best determination of what is to come.

The special meeting is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow.

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