By: Toi Thornton | firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 was an eventful year for Lafayette but before we continue to progress through 2017, the Mayor-President has something to say. Tonight, Mayor Joel Robideaux gave his first year-in-review address tagged the Robideaux Report.
It’s been quite the first year in office for Mayor Joel Robideaux and now he wants to take a look back at it, both the accomplishments and the challenges. First on the list for challenges is the budget, which took a major hit from the downturn in the oil and gas industry.
"We made some really difficult decisions and proposed a budget that had some really drastic cuts in it. I’ll be the first one, I’ll be thrilled when we can restore those cuts,” said Robideaux.
Second on his list of challenges, the august floods, which impacted more than 1500 homes and businesses in the parish.
"To have to deal with an emergency, the emergency response folks were incredible,” he said.
Following that at a close number 3, flood recovery, which the mayor says is still not completely over.
"Everywhere I went, I saw neighbors, helping neighbors, schools helping out, university had all kinds of different pockets of groups helping out,” he added.
Moving on to the accomplishments, the mayor says he and the city council worked very well together this year. Another accomplishments he points out is his focus on the University corridor, which he says will soon receive funding for its startup.
"Every parent that’s thinking about taking their kid to the university is, in all likelihood going to take that gateway, that entrance into our city. When I look at it, it has so much potential,” said Robideaux.
The mayor also brought up the I-49 corridor and one of what he says is his most popular intiatives, the no-kill animal shelter.
"Social media during the campaign and when I annoucned that we were going to implement the ‘no kill shelter’ for 2020, it was the most popular I’ve ever been in social media,” he added.
Moving forward, Robideaux’s looking forward to a 2017 that exposes the world to the jewel that is Lafayette, Louisiana.
"Visiting the southern part of the U.S. if they’re coming from Overseas, that they say ‘hey, I need to go and visit this place that I heard about called Lafayette, Acadiana,” Robideaux said.
The Robideaux Report continued following the year-in-review address with a showcase of culture. All proceeds from that event are going to the Community Foundation of Acadiana’s new Lafayette Parish Strategic Initiative Fund.