CARENCRO, La. (KLFY) — Should Carencro split into districts? It was the question posed to the council and community in a town hall Monday night.
Ahead of Carencro’s last election and in the time following, people have recommended changing to what almost every other municipality in the parish is doing: representation by district. Currently, the Carencro City Council is elected “At-Large” and all 5 seats are filled with the candidates with the highest votes, and it looks like it will stay that way.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That one phrase dominated the night of Carencro’s town hall. When asked if the people should vote to change five at-large council seats into district representation, the message was clear.
Councilman at-large Alfred Sinegal stated, “I’ve talked to a lot of people, and those are the people that elected me, and I haven’t heard one of them say, ‘Let’s change.”
The community argued districts create problems such as division between people, council members, and where money should be spent. Many insisted Carencro right now has the most diverse council in Lafayette parish.
“I want to make sure we continue that, and I worry that the at-large system that we have put that in jeopardy,” councilman at-large Jordan Arceneaux. He stated research shows at-large elections can put minority representation at risk. He called the meeting after constituents raised the issue to him.
One of those constituents Carencro resident John Gotch. During town hall Gotch admitted, “I did call Jordan, and I said, ‘Man, we need to look at districts.’ Honestly, I think I jumped the gun.”
Scott, Lafayette, Broussard, and Youngsville all have candidates elected into districts or divisions, but at the end of this meeting, each mind was in agreement that districts are not the way for Carencro to go.
“I know it’s the thing to do because you know all the others are doing it, but that doesn’t make it the right thing or the best thing for Carencro,” argued former Carencro mayor Tommy Angelle.
Many suggested why create a potential problem when the current system works so well. “We’re doing the right thing now. If it gets worse, then you might want to look at it, but for right now everything is working,” one woman said.
There is quite a list of reasons people spoke out against creating districts. Residents like having five options when approaching the council instead of the one who lives closest to them. They also don’t want the extra expense of paying someone to draw lines every 10 years.
If you have feedback, the Carencro City Council encourages you to reach out ahead of their next meeting. Arceneaux said they will likely vote not to bring the question of creating districts to the vote of the people which will result in the proposal failing.