We see it in other countries, where a motion of no confidence causes a vote to determine if the current head of government, or current members of a legislative governmental body, continue in office or are required to stand for another election.
We don’t have that no confidence system in the U.S. but perhaps we ought to consider implementing one, at least in Iberia Parish where the seemingly never-ending controversies and disagreements between the Iberia Parish administration and Iberia Parish Council have most observers shaking their head in amazement, and in many cases embarrassment.
We’re just starting the 10th month of the current four-year term for parish president and Parish Council members.
The back and forth accusations of illegal or other wrongdoings by the administration and the council, the calls by each for investigations of the other, the disagreements over how the parish’s business should be run, the firing of parish department heads and the defunding of other positions, the complaints about a lack of communication — the controversy coming from parish government seems to be getting worse, not better.
If we were in Great Britain or one of the other countries where the no confidence option is available, it sure seems like this would be the time to call for an election to see if voters wanted to give this Parish Govern-ment more time to get its act together, or would vote to start again and see if a new government couldn’t do better.
Some blame the parish president. Others say it’s the council members who are making things difficult.
Pick who you want or blame both sides, but clearly Iberia Parish Government is not functioning well at this time, to the detriment of the residents of the parish, as well as for the hard-working parish employees who are trying to conduct parish business with all this rancor and controversy flying back and forth among the bosses.
Consider comments from Holly Leleux-Thubron, a Public Works maintenance superintendent whose work has been a focus of controversy since her hiring back in January. The council recently defunded her position.
“I’m an employee. … Those are not my issues to deal with. I do exactly what the parish president asks me to do …”
The vote over a motion of no confidence is like a do-over in the countries where this system is in place.
I’m not sure what our options are, but clearly parish government needs a do-over of some sort as this constant turmoil at the parish courthouse has got to end, and soon.
The parish may not recover if we have three more years of what we’ve seen these past nine months.