Tensions are high between the St. Landry Parish Council and Parish President Bill Fontenot. Fontenot spoke to Tv-10 about the issues he is having with the council, and why he is seeking a judge to intervene.
"It is my humble opinion that it is unlawful to change the constitution without the vote of the people and the constitution is the home rule charter of St. Landry Parish. So I'm hoping by bringing this to the judges or a judge, that in the next couple of weeks a decision will be rendered as to whether I am correct or not." Fontenot said.
Fontenot is in the process of filing a temporary restraining order against the council. The council passed five ordinances earlier this year. Fontenot vetoed those ordinances. The council then voted to override those vetoes.
The Home rule charter gives the Parish president authority. These five ordinances, if they go in effect, could shift power from Fontenot to the council. This could change how the parish is governed.
"It basically (is) moving administrative authority and responsibility from out under the president and back under the council." Fontenot explained, also saying this would basically turn the council into a police jury. He does not believe anyone but the people should be allowed to vote on that type of change.
"These ordinances contradict and are contrary to the Home Rule Charter, which is basically the Constitution under which the parish governs and only the people can change those rules stipulated in the charter."
Calls were made to some council members. Member Wayne Ardoin returned our call, but said he was unavailable for comment at this moment.