The City Parish Council's first order of business at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 4, will be to appoint a replacement for recently departed District 1 Councilman Purvis Morrison. Morrison starts a new job today, as Mayor of Scott.
The council will choose between five applicants to fill Morrison's vacated seat. They include Morrison's own preferred successor, his wife Mary Morrison, a business instructor at Louisiana Technical College who ran unsuccessfully for the school board in 2006. The other applicants are Bobby Badeaux, Edgar Martin Middle School principal who preceded Morrison as councilman for District 1; Jay Caldwell, a retired petroleum engineer with the state Department of Natural Resources; Susannah Malbreaux, owner of Elite Model & Photography Services and current chair of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee; and Andrea Husband, a former law firm administrator.
The appointee will serve out the remainder of Morrison's term, which runs until the end of 2011. The city-parish charter also bars whomever is appointed from running for the seat in the 2011 elections. The council expects to swear in its appointee at tomorrow's meeting so he or she can begin serving immediately.
In the event of a tie vote, as happened the last time the council voted on an interim replacement, the appointment will then go to Gov. Bobby Jindal. Reached this morning, Councilman Don Bertrand says though he has spoken with all the candidates, he remains undecided on how he will vote. "Any one of them can serve," he says, "to me, that's not a question. It's hard to say. I'm going to see over the next 24 hours and make that decision tomorrow night."