WHY IS JUDGE BOURQUE RUNNING AGAIN, HAVING ALREADY STATED THAT HE WOULD RETIRE AT THE END OF THIS TERM?
As best I can determine, Judge Bourque first took office January 1, 1979, and has remained in office, unopposed over the past 24 years (four-- six year terms). I made up my mind to run, only after I had spoken with Judge Bourque and confirmed that he would not seek re-election. In fact, several months ago, after hearing a rumor that he would be retiring at the end of his current term, I called and asked him if the rumor I had heard was true. He said that it was true, and that he would not seek another term as City Judge. To do so as would put the taxpayers through the trouble and expense of a "Special Election." Under the present circumstances, if Judge Bourque is elected, the taxpayers could be exposed to the trouble and expense of two elections in less than two years for the same office, City Judge.
To understand this, is to understand the law concerning mandatory retirement of a sitting judge upon reaching age 70. According the the current Louisiana constitution, Louisiana Constitution of 1974, Section 23, a sitting judge is prohibited from remaining in office beyond age 70. Judge Bourque will have his 70th Birthday less than 17 full months into a new term. Particularly, he will be 70 years of age in the later part of May, 2004. His current term ends December 31, 2002, and the City Judge elected October 5, 2002 is slated to take office January 1, 2003.
It is obvious that Judge Bourque has changed his mind and decided to run. As for his exact reasons why, I am not sure. But it seems to me more than a bit selfish after sitting on the Bench for 24 years and actually stating that he would not suffer the taxpayers the expense of a Special Election, to turn right around and attempt to do exactly what he said he would not.
I would have preferred not to mention the foregoing subject, but after waiting now almost three months for Judge Bourque to make a public statement concerning this disqualification, I feel the voters of Kaplan and Ward 9 deserve to know and consider in their deliberations over the candidate they will support, that Judge Bourque is disqualified by law from serving past his 70th Birthday. The term of a city judge as provided by law is for six (6) years. Judge Bourque will not be able to serve even 1 1/2 years of the six (6) year term.