The mayor-president is in quarantine after a direct exposure to KLFY anchor Dalfred Jones, who tested positive for the coronavirus Friday, the day he emceed the swearing in of Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas at the Heymann Center.
Link: Lafayette City Council to consider committee to explore deconsolidation, separate city mayor — The Advocate
City Councilman Pat Lewis will propose a resolution creating a committee to weigh the benefit of consolidation for the city of Lafayette. Called the “Protect the City Committee,” the group would evaluate the costs and limitations of Lafayette’s current form of government, which combines city and parish services and departments.
A 2018 parishwide vote created separate city and parish councils, Lafayette Consolidated Government’s current configuration, but kept administration functions consolidated under the mayor-president.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory supported deconsolidation as a candidate but has recently acknowledged flipping his position on the issue. Guillory and the City Council have been at frequent odds.
Lafayette City District 1 Councilman Pat Lewis is proposing a resolution that would form a committee from which to gather the input of a diverse range of citizens on the benefits of City-Parish consolidation to the City of Lafayette.
The elephant in the room is how much longer this damn pandemic will last and who will be left standing when it finally ends. But that’s not the only aspect of our local economy with an uncertain fate.
The gist: Thomas Glover, appointed Lafayette’s first Black police chief, introduced himself as an agent of change. The longtime police veteran takes up his new post in January. Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced his selection Wednesday, filling a position left vacant for nearly a year.
Who is he? Glover spent three decades with the Dallas Police Department, serving as deputy chief since 2012. He’s a native of northeast Louisiana, and an outspoken advocate for police accountability. In 2016, as president of the Black police union in Dallas, he called police brutality against unarmed Black men an “epidemic.”
“Well, I’m pro-police, I’m pro-law enforcement, and I’m anti-police misconduct. I am anti-police mistreatment. I am anti-police discrimination,” he told PBS Newshour in 2016. At the time, he called on President Obama to help PDs purge their ranks of bad cops.
Glover embraces 21st Century Policing. The policing framework, pushed by the Obama administration in 2015, stresses six pillars: building trust, policy and oversight, adopting technology as a means of public engagement, community policing, training and officer wellness.
“We cannot police today the way we did a year ago,” Glover said Wednesday, referencing the “murder” of George Floyd by Minneapolis police earlier this summer, an event he said changed everything.
Does he mean what he says? The word is Glover is a man who gets things done. “He has his way of doing things,” newly elected Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas says. “And the Lafayette Police Department is going to have to conform to that.”
Thomas, the first Black man elected as Lafayette’s city marshal, says he has spoken twice to Glover in the past two days and plans to introduce him around town. The marshal-elect says they’ve already committed to working closely together with the Community Relations Board.
The gist: Crime Fighters of Louisiana, the private entity contracted to provide security cameras for Lafayette, was issued a cease-and-desist letter from Louisiana’s fire marshal for failing to secure a license required by state law. What this means: The company, owned by Lafayette businessman and law enforcement booster Brooks Bernard, can’t immediately execute on a cooperative endeavor agreement it quietly […]
Council Preview 12/16: Old federal courthouse is back for help; a ‘new’ development code; ratifying Guillory’s emergency powers
The gist: Wednesday (tonight) the City Council will finally decide if it’s going to subsidize the old federal courthouse developer’s profits. Both councils will decide whether to reaffirm the mayor-president’s emergency powers. And Lafayette may be getting a new development code — kind of. Meanwhile, the parish’s deteriorating finances continue to force tough decisions on the Parish Council as it […]
The PSC, which has limited oversight of LUS Fiber, shut down any further scrutiny of a pending self-report from December 2019.
A new member will be appointed to fill the final vacancy on the board. Judging by recent four-to-four splits, the ideological tilt of the commission hangs in the balance of that appointment.
The contract licenses Lafayette police to use the camera footage for “law enforcement purposes” only but appears to place no such restriction on the firm, which will own, maintain and operate the cameras — and the data it collects.
Bending over backwards: officials avoid punishing noncompliance of Louisiana’s coronavirus restrictions
When the governor said at Tuesday’s Covid press briefing that state inspectors had “bent over backwards” to help businesses comply with state-mandated restrictions, he wasn’t exaggerating.
The gist: Following a predictable curve, a rapid spike in hospitalizations has followed a doubling in the number of tests coming back positive. Health officials are warning a third surge is imminent.
Acadiana reported 121 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday. That’s a 50% increase over the last week. The region had the third-most Covid hospitalizations, behind only the Shreveport and Monroe areas as of Tuesday.
Official positivity for Lafayette Parish is above 10%. LDH reports positivity — the number of positive tests — on a lag. The most recent figures reflect the week of Nov. 5 through Nov. 11, and more than doubled the previous positivity report.
The trends mirror the second surge that saw Acadiana and Lafayette lead the state. Increases in test volume and positivity preceded a dramatic increase in cases in June and July, followed by peak hospitalization of 304 and the deadliest period of the pandemic recorded for Lafayette Parish. Once again, urgent care centers in the area are beginning to see higher test volumes and higher positivity.
“Based on the July surge, it was a good indicator of future Covid hospitalizations,” Oschner Lafayette General spokeswoman Patricia Parks Thompson says of the testing and positivity trends in the system’s network of urgent care clinics. “It also seems to be the case with what is highly suspected to become a third surge.”
Healthcare workers are beleaguered by months of pandemic ebbs and flows. Staffing remains a big problem, not physical capacity. Hospital reps have pushed back at the suggestion that the medical community has a facilities problem, made flippantly last week by Mayor-President Josh Guillory who has resisted enforcing the state’s current restrictions.
Anxious. Overwhelmed. Sad. Numb. Local healthcare workers are telling us the predictable rise is taking its toll on them, even with upbeat news about the incoming prospects of a vaccine. With Thanksgiving around the corner, families are making difficult decisions about if and how to gather, echoing anxieties around Easter earlier in the pandemic.
“Masks are all we have right now, and it is most effective if we all use them,” a frontline worker in healthcare administration wrote to us. “Healthcare providers face burn out and loss of income when we have surges. We are a vital part of the economy in Lafayette and need consideration when people want a thriving economy.”