LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) — The Lafayette City Council and Mayor-President Josh Guillory are in disagreement with what the home rule charter allows. The city council overrode a veto from the Mayor-President Tuesday night so it can hire its own lawyer to represent them in joint budget issues.
The city council said they need their own legal counsel to protect city funds, but the Mayor-President said they are attempting to usurp his authority and the home rule charter.
From the start, Mayor-President Josh Guillory never hid he was concerned if the city council hiring its own legal authority was in fact illegal.
Inside his official veto, Guillory called the city council’s ordinance “needless” and an attempt “to usurp the authority of the City-Parish Attorney and the Mayor-President.” Guillory said the charter only allows him to hire any department directors, including a legal department director.
City Council Chairman Pat Lewis said the city-parish attorney’s opinions have conflicted with the charter, namely when the parish blocked a vote which would save 37 jobs inside Parks and Recreation centers. Lewis and other members believe their own attorney is the way to avoid further and greater conflicts.
Not every council member agreed. District 2 Councilman Andy Naquin voted against overriding the veto, but the majority overrode the veto, believing the charter wanted separate control of city and parish funding and two attorneys are the best way to achieve it.
The public called for what Lewis has called the next step, a further split of powers dividing the mayor-president position too.