Yesterday, City Parish Council Chairman Don Bertrand sent a letter to council clerk Norma Dugas calling for a special meeting to be held Oct. 1 for the sole purpose of appointing the council’s newest member. The council will be appointing an interim member to fill the vacancy created by outgoing District 6 Councilman Bruce Conque, who is stepping down to take a new full-time job with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
The council has already solicited applicants for the District 6 seat and had planned to make the appointment on Oct. 7 at the start of its regularly scheduled meeting.The appointee was then to take their seat with the council for the remainder of the meeting. Bertrand says the council decided to move up the appointment to give the new member adequate time to prepare themselves and be ready to begin voting on issues at the Oct. 7 meeting. “There’s a couple reasons for that,” Bertrand says. “One is just general fairness so that whoever the appointee is they’ve got some time. We definitely want to make sure that District 6 has representation at the meeting on the 7th. This will give the person a whole week to look over the meeting agenda and information packet and kind of get their bearings before they step in."
The council is scheduled to interview all applicants for the District 6 seat next Thursday, Sept. 25, begining at 5:30 p.m. The 30 minute interviews will all be held in executive session unless the interviewee requests to make it public. Six residents have submitted applications for the District 6 council seat. They are: KVOL program director and talk radio host Todd C. Elliott, attorney Judith Kennedy, local sales rep Raymond Doré, retired oilfield executive Lewis Kellog, retired businessman Richard Prevost, Tsunami owner Michele Ezell, and local attorney and chairman of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee John Bernhardt. Whomever the council appoints will serve through April 4, 2009, when a special election will be held to determine who will fill out the remainder of Conque’s term. The interim appointee is not be allowed to run for the seat next spring, according to the city-parish charter.