A series exploring the highs and lows of Lafayette’s economy, providing critical commentary about what’s working and what’s not.
Lafayette’s city and parish councils passed a compromise budget that doesn’t address any of the city’s or parish’s major budgetary problems.
While Lafayette’s economic forecast isn’t bright, it’s not near as dark as the mayor-president has made it out to be. That means the City Council can avoid drastic cuts.
Saying the parish should live within its means is one thing, but actually cutting millions from a threadbare budget is something else entirely. Parish government now faces the unenviable choice of raising taxes or cutting essential services.
The Buchanan garage is a dilapidated property on prime real estate Downtown that’s been condemned because of government neglect. While it’d be great to get it back into commerce, the economics of Mayor-President Guillory’s plan don’t add up and they risk the financial health of the courthouse and the jail.
LCG’s budgetmaking process can be complicated in a normal year, and this is far from a normal year. Newly split councils, a mayor-president deadset on slashing budgets, and an uncertain economy has created a perfect storm for a tense budgetmaking process. As the councils round the corner on amending this budget, these are some of the top issues still to be resolved.
COLUMN: Cutting quality of life services will backfire, hurting Lafayette’s economy for years to come
In order to be economically competitive as a city, Lafayette needs to offer quality of life amenities. In the rush to cut budgets, Mayor-President Guillory is putting the city’s quality of life at risk, reducing its ability to retain and attract people, especially young families.
Parish government has been on life support for years now. With the city’s finances now strained, it’s time for the parish to get serious about living within its means.
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.