The Process of Change

Reported by Marty Briggs

If there was a strong desire to change the way we govern ourselves, how would it happen and how long would it take?

As you might imagine, it's not an easy process and would take a considerable amount of time. However, nothing can happen without you the citizens of Calcasieu Parish.

Parish administrator Mark McMurry explains the process in greater detail.

McMurry: "One of the things that came up the night this was first brought up was they wanted to form a committee and let the Police Jury decide if they wanted to talk about doing this or not, but the fact of the matter is, in Louisiana, the Police Jury can't decide that. The structure under the law in Louisiana is, you have to have a Home Rule Charter commission, which is a commission made up of citizens appointed by the Police Jury. They're given 18 months to come up with a plan. Under the law, whatever that plan is, whatever that group of citizens comes up with, that's what has to be on the ballot. The jury can't change it, they can't amend it, they can't modify it, they can't ditch it. They have to put it on the ballot the way it comes from the citizens. So, it could be a little bit pre-emptive on the Police Jury's part to start discussing what kind of government they want to have. Maybe the debate really needs to be, the study needs to be whether or not we want to have a Home Rule Charter commission, so that the people appointed to that would not be tainted by some direct influence of the Police Jury before they were even appointed."