Supporters of St. Martinville mayor, petition to pass Lawrason Act to give mayor more power

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Supporters of St. Martinville Mayor Melinda Mitchell petitioned for signatures at Monday’s city council meeting in hopes of passing the Lawrason Act.

“The mayor was elected. She wasn’t put in. She wasn’t appointed. She was actually elected,” a petitioner said.

If the Lawrason Act is voted on and passed by the city council, the mayor would have veto power as well as the ability to hire and fire.

“If you notice that every time she tries to do something on the agenda, she’s out-voted. It’s a no win situation,” the petitioner added.

“What I’m seeing from a lot of the constituents is that since they elected me as the mayor, the CEO of the city, they want to see me have more authority,” Mayor Mitchell said.

City Councilman Mike Fuselier says he believes the Lawrason Act would not be good for St. Martinville.

“Our city council is called a strong council, weak mayor. The Lawrason Act is a strong mayor, weak council,” Councilman Fuselier said.

Fuselier added, “there’s safety in numbers. You know, there’s wisdom in a multitude of counselors, so it’s much safer to have a council of five making decisions on big decisions than one person.””

Mayor Mitchell said the Lawrason Act has been brought to the city council twice since she took office. The act has been knocked down both times.

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