A series exploring the highs and lows of Lafayette’s economy, providing critical commentary about what’s working and what’s not.
It’s not surprising that the decision to shutter widely used cultural and community facilities has sparked significant public outcry. But it’s a choice — not a necessity.
As local public schools navigate the pandemic in their quest to reopen, the longstanding challenges associated with the digital divide in Lafayette are making things a lot more complicated. It’s hard to do distance learning when thousands of students can’t access the Internet.
Lafayette’s economy can’t get healthy if its people aren’t healthy. The only way to slow the spread of this coronavirus is to get 80-90% of people to wear masks or to shut the everything back down again. Faced with those options, Lafayette needs to do everything in its power to get people to wear masks, not just to save lives but to save our economy.
In the next couple of years, LUS has to make a series of huge decisions. But the issues that matter are getting drowned out by the political theater that’s been drummed up around potentially illegal payments from LUS to LUS Fiber. Lafayette can’t afford to get distracted.
Lafayette is facing a severe housing crisis, with thousands of people at risk of losing their homes. This crisis started before the pandemic, but the coronavirus and its impact on our economy has just added fuel to a fire that’s now threatening to rage through our community.
Before we break out the tar and feathers, we need to appreciate the context of Guillory’s budget cuts. Given the dire straits of the city’s financials, these cuts—and more—are arguably inevitable.
Regardless of the merit’s of Mayor-President Josh Guillory small business forgivable loan program, the process he’s used doesn’t lead to good policymaking while ignoring our community’s looming housing crisis.
Lafayette’s city general fund is facing such large deficits that even zeroing out what critics call government waste won’t be enough to close the gap.
Even if the coronavirus wasn’t causing a global depression, Lafayette’s city and parish general funds would be in rough shape. But now shortfalls in revenue are going to force some painful cuts.
At a time of incredible economic and financial uncertainty, the parish council can’t afford to rededicate CREATE’s millage to any other dedicated fund. Instead what’s needed is flexibility to navigate an uncertain future, which is why this millage should be redirected to the parish general fund.
The challenges facing Lafayette’s economy may seem overwhelming but you can help right the ship by spending money or making it, and that means more than just shopping local.
The gist: On Monday, the price of oil had its greatest one-day plunge ever, and coronavirus officially arrived in Louisiana. Markets tumbled nationally, with signs pointing toward a global recession on the horizon. These developments pose threats the Lafayette economy is particularly vulnerable to.