In order to comply with state election laws, members of the Rayne City Council held a special meeting Friday morning, June 22, to call a special election to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Jim Petitjean, whose resignation will become effective at midnight, Dec. 31, 2012.
The 10 a.m. meeting that lasted approximately five minutes opened with the mayor thanking the five Council members “for coming on short notice.”
The Council was required to approve a resolution accepting Petitjean’s resignation one day before taking his oath at assessor of Acadia Parish and calling a special primary election on Nov. 6, 2012, with a general election to be held on Dec. 8, if necessary.
State election laws require a governing body to call a special election to fill an unexpired term within 10 days of the Secretary of State receiving a notarized resignation (in this case, before June 28).
In a moment tinged with a touch of humor, Mayor Pro Tem Paul Molbert asked, “What happens if we don’t accept the resolution?”
Acknowledging there was no alternative, Molbert commented, “It’s bitter sweet” as he made the motion to accept the resolution. It was second by Jude “Butch” Abshire and unanimously approved.
Qualifying for the Nov. election will be conducted from Aug. 15 through Aug. 17.
Announced candidates for the unexpired term include Roland Boudreaux, Cheryl Richard and Chuck Robichaux.
Mayor Petitjean noted he has served Rayne for 29½ years, first as recreation director and then 18 years as mayor. He added it would have been 30 years, but he resigned as recreation director, a civil service position, for a total of six months to conduct his first mayoral campaign.