BROUSSARD — The City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to allow Lafayette demographer Mike Hefner to begin reapportioning council districts.
Council Attorney Don Landry said the resolution was a necessary first step to fulfill federal voting district reapportionment requirements following the 2010 census.
After Councilman John Foco asked if the council had to begin the process immediately because the city was about to annex three major subdivisions, Landry said yes, adding they would not like the alternative.
“You have to do this now,” he said. “If anything, we are a little behind in the process. We do not yet know where the districts will change but if we do not do this on time, the U.S. Department of Justice will come in and do it for us.”
Landry said he was unsure of the final deadline or the exact cost to complete the process, but the resolution was crucial to fulfill federal requirements demanding the council acknowledge the process is necessary and will be completed per their guidelines.
Mayor Charles Langlinais said that, as requested by Councilman Kenny Higginbotham, the seven existing council seats will be maintained and their lines will be moved according to necessity.
He also said he felt one part of the city will experience the most change during the process to redraw voting lines.
“The south side of Broussard will likely see the biggest change,” Langlinais said. “the good news is we can move the lines wherever we want, as long as all the districts are correctly proportioned.”