LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — North Lafayette residents are angry after the Lafayette City and Parish councils removed a quarter of a million dollars from their budget.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory gave the $250,000 to the North Lafayette Redevelopment Authority weeks ago, but the councils overrided his decision.
The money’s been up in the air until Tuesday evening, when a joint city-parish council meeting was called to vote on overriding the Mayor-President’s veto.
Tuesday afternoon the Lafayette city and parish councils both unanimously voted to override the mayor- president’s veto.
That means the money that Josh Guillory wanted to give to North Lafayette is now going to traffic calming instead.
North Lafayette residents are not happy about it.
“It’s unbelievable for the people in the northside that they came here, poured their hearts, spoke really really hard, and it’s sad. It’s a sad day in Lafayette,” local pastor and activist Kerry Williams said.
Residents of North Lafayette hoped the $250,000 would go to the North Lafayette Redevelopment Authority. It’s where Mayor-President Josh Guillory wanted the funds to go.
The city and parish councils, however, voted to keep that money in traffic calming.
“We need to deal with the poverty in the households on the northside. We need to deal with northside businesses declining. We just need the money to help the north side,” northside resident and activist Kevin Faulk said.
Many residents were upset the councils voted to take the funds away from the NLRA. Others, however, argued the $250,000 was only given to keep residents happy, saying that money really wouldn’t do anything.
“They putting $250,000 in the northside. Guess what? $250,000 ain’t gonna do nothing but unplug one drain, one street,” Wallace Senegal, who lives in North Lafayette, said.
A big surprise, however, came when residents learned that even if the council voted to take the funds out of traffic calming, the money wouldn’t go straight to the NRLA. Instead, it would go back to the general fund.
It’s a mistake Guillory acknowledged and apologized for, but residents still weren’t very happy.
“The council says they want to support the northside. The mayor-president says he wants to support the north side. Let’s get down to business and support the northside,” Faulk said.
“We’re going to support the northside, one way or another. If I got to hold a rally to get these funds, we going to hold a rally,” Williams added.