[Editor’s Note: Don Bacqué is a Lafayette financial planner, author and former member of both the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Lafayette Charter Commission.]
I find it interesting that it takes the conflict with LPUA to again raise the issue of how to fix our consolidated government charter. It appears that the simplest solution is to again argue for de-consolidation, when in truth the simplest solution to this issue, though not the larger issue of autonomy, is simply to amend the charter. Mike Hebert, the city attorney, is quoted as saying that two parts of the Charter conflict; one states that LPUA is the governing authority for Lafayette Utility System, while another says that the council is the governing authority for all consolidated government decisions (I am paraphrasing).
When I opposed de-Consolidation I stated, in every discussion I had, that there were solvable problems with the Charter. I thought we should have solved them during our Charter Commission meetings by offerring two options to the public for a vote, de-consolidation or continued consolidation under a charter document that was simpler and solved the problems that have become evident over the past 20 years. The commission chose to offer only one option on the ballot, de-consolidation, and the public rejected that solution. We still have the same problems, why don’t we solve them.
— Odon L. "Don" Bacqué Jr.