Court refuses PPC appealFeb 22nd, 2011 | By Michelle Provencher | Category: news
It seems to be the end of the line for the Plaquemines Parish Council’s efforts in trying to stop charter revisions proposed by the Plaquemines Parish Charter Commission from being placed before voters after the Louisiana Supreme Court refused on Friday to hear their appeal.
“We absolutely thought it was the right decision,” said Bill Bubrig, a member of the Charter Commission. “As I understand it, at this point, the council is obligated to call an election and put that version of the revised charter on the ballot.”
Naturally, some of the parish council is in disagreement with the decision.
“I think they’re wrong,” said Councilman Burghart Turner, District 6, upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court’s ruling for the first time. “The charter commission didn’t exist as a legal commission. It’s required to be done by an ordinance, which we did not do. It was done by a resolution.”
The Charter Commission was formed in 2007 to review the existing charter, and “for the purpose of addressing inconsistencies in the Charter for Local Self-Government.”
Since instituted in 1987, certain “gray areas” of the charter have been labeled as the cause of conflict between various councils and parish presidents. The commission’s work was to review possible improvements and present a proposal to voters.
Although the parish council impaneled the commission in 2007, the council filed suit to stop the proposed changes from appearing on the ballot. They said it was their intention to create a committee whose findings would go before them for approval instead of directly to the voters.
The council sued to stop the proposed charter from being presented to voters and won in district court. However, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal sided with the Charter Commission, and the Supreme Court has now refused to hear the case, in a 7-0 vote.