While his favored candidate did not win the election to succeed him, outgoing Lafayette Mayor-President Joey Durel leaves office popular and successful, despite an occasionally bumpy relationship with the City-Parish Council and the smaller municipal governments in the parish.
We congratulate Rep. Joel Robideaux, a committee chairman in the state House, for his election to his big new job. And just to be clear, his title should be clarified, the reason for one of two amendments to the parish’s home rule charter that are on the Nov. 21 ballot.
The following are our recommendations for parish voters. Early voting begins Saturday and continues for a week, except Sunday and Veterans Day.
Proposition 1: Mayor-President. Yes
Is it Mayor Durel? Parish President Durel? He proposes to settle what has been some terminological confusion with Proposition 1. It provides that the title of the chief executive will be Mayor-President.
We support this change. Not that many people will take notice of it, we think, because most people will still be most likely to say Mayor Robideaux. But there is no harm to formalizing the title.
Proposition 2: Planning Commission. Yes
Of more substantive concern than titles is a proposal that expands the planning and zoning commission from five to seven members. They will be appointed for five-year staggered terms with four members from within the city limits of Lafayette and three members outside the corporate limits of any municipality.
Vacancies will be filled by the City-Parish Council. Durel backs this change, saying the planning commission has had difficulty keeping a quorum.
While this is more than housekeeping, it is also not an earthshaking change. But it does reflect the added workload on the commission and city-parish officials coping with growth and bringing into law a comprehensive new master plan for future development.
We believe this sea-change in planning has been a signature accomplishment of Durel’s terms in office and will serve the heart of Acadiana well in future. We support this amendment.