Heavy rain in Lafayette rush hour did not put a damper on the passion in the Lafayette Consolidate Government Council chambers as members voted on whether to send a so-called deconsolidation measure to voters in December. The majority of the council councilmembers voted in favor of having voters decide at the polls. It would be a parish-wide vote that is scheduled for December 8, 2018.

Tonight's vote comes almost a month after the proposal was introduced at the July 10th meeting of the council. The effort which was initially led by Councilmen Bruce Conque (District 6), Jay Castille (District 2), Kenneth Boudreaux (District 4) and Council Chair Kevin Naquin (District 1) gained all of the support needed for the issue to go to the voters of Lafayette Parish. The decision comes after several town halls were held across the parish in the last several weeks.

Here is how the vote turned out:

Staff Photo

The measure, which has been referred to generally as deconsolidation, is not a complete break-up of Lafayette Consolidated Government. Many shared services will remain according to the proposed amended charter. Supporters of the "deconsolidation" measure say the main benefit is autonomy for the City of Lafayette. Currently, most councilmembers represent voters in the city limits and unincorporated parts of the Parish. That would change according to new maps drawn by demographer Mike Hefner. The measure would create a 5 member city council and separate 5 member parish council. Opponents of the plan say it needs to be discussed more and that it could ultimately cost the city and parish more money. District 9 Councilman William Theriot has been an outspoke opponent of the plan along with District 5 Councilman Jared Bellard. Theriot explained his stance in a KPEL interview shortly after the introduction of the plan.