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UPDATE: LCG forming transition team ahead of anticipated council split

Posted: 11:48 AM, Jun 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-11 17:42:13-04
Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux

On Tuesday, Lafayette Consolidated Government Chief Communications Officer Cydra Wingerter confirmed to KATC that Lafayette City-Parish Councilmembers Liz Webb Hebert, Nanette Cook and Bruce Conque were added to the transition team.

Conque will be representing the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority.

Robideaux will also add three additional appointments to the transition team in order to maintain its diversity, according to an email from Robideaux to city and parish leaders about the transition effort.

“As of right now the team is made up of 8 white males,” wrote Robideaux. “I am increasing the Council to 3 (appointments), requiring at least one to be a minority, and I will also make three appointments, with at least one being a minority. That brings the total number of appointments to 14. Thank you for agreeing to participate.”

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LAFAYETTE, La. – The Lafayette City-Parish Government is making plans to form a transition team to assist in the expected split of the city and parish council.

Mayor-President Joel Robideaux is forming the 10-person team despite the current legal challenges to the charter amendment.

“As we approach a legal resolution of the Charter amendments, it seems prudent to begin putting together an independent transition team to work through anticipated and unanticipated issues,” Robideaux stated in an email that he sent to several city and parish leaders on Monday.

Robideaux added that he believes that each parish-wide elected official should have a place on the team, including judges, councilmembers, mayors of other cities in the parish and even the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The full list of representatives will include:

  • Judges: 1 appointment
  • Council: 1 appointment
  • Lafayette Public Utilities Authority: 1 appointment
  • Non-Lafayette Mayors: 1 appointment
  • District Attorney: 1 appointment
  • Sheriff: 1 appointment
  • Tax Assessor: 1 appointment
  • Clerk of Court: 1 appointment
  • Mayor-President: 1 appointment
  • UL President: 1 appointment

KATC reached out to LCG Chief Communications Officer Cydra Wingerter who confirmed that the team has five members so far. Wingerter then updated that list on June 11 to include the following:

  • 15th Judicial District Attorney Keith Stutes
  • 15th Judicial District Chief Judge Charlie Fitzgerald,
  • Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court Louis Perret,
  • Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber
  • Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor Conrad Comeaux
  • Bruce Conque, Lafayette City-Parish Council (representing the LPUA)
  • Nanette Cook, Lafayette City-Parish Council
  • Liz Webb Hebert, Lafayette City-Parish Council

Last year, residents voted to approved a measure to split the city and parish governments. However, some errors in voter precincts were discovered that left some in the parish without representation.

Earlier this year, the Lafayette City-Parish Council voted to fix the issues by ordinance rather than placing the issue on the fall ballot. A lawsuit was filed against LCG by Keith Kishbaugh , a local resident running for the city council, which was then joined by Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

After ruling to dismiss the lawsuit in May, the judge ordered an expedited path for the expected appeals in order to help accommodate them in time for the Aug. 6-8 qualifying period ahead of the Oct. 12 primary and Nov. 16 general elections.

That lawsuit is currently being appealed by both Kishbaugh and Ardoin in the Louisiana 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.