Lafayette council chairman: No more meetings past midnight

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The council meetings for the Lafayette city and parish councils will no longer extend past midnight.

Council chairman Pat Lewis says the city council will have a 4-hour time limit and the parish, an hour and a half.

And he says the public comment section will drop from five minutes to three minutes.

Lewis says the plan is to conduct business.

He adds there are people with items on the agenda and they’re not getting to speak because public comments are taking up the time.

“We have ten people speaking in front of them for about five minutes. Now you’re talking about almost an hour that they’re sitting in the auditorium because they want to do business with the council and administration. By the time we get to them it’s been a long time,” Lewis noted.

He recalls a meeting that went to two o’clock in the morning after starting at five in the afternoon.

He says for the council, that doesn’t matter, but for the public that’s too long.

“They just came to vent and you’re giving them five minutes. The people who are here to do business have to sit there and wait until all the public comments are over with,” Lewis stated.

Lewis explains there are other municipalities in Acadiana with time limits.

“We’re not changing the time to be different than anybody else; we just want people who want to do business with the city council and administration have enough time to convey their message and then we can leave,” Lewis said.

Councilman Lewis says the parish council can extend it’s meetings for another half hour.

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