LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Continued cuts within the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) is a cause for one department leader to part ways with the administration.
Lafayette is expected to go through $28M its $50M savings account this year because of an $18M deficit in the annual budget and $10M in expected losses due to COVID-19 and the oil industry.
“It’s a recipe for a major fiscal disaster in a very short period of time, and I won’t let that happen to our city,” said Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory.
LCG is looking for $10M before November, and the Major-President said, “Like every family in Lafayette Parish, our government must live within its means.”
The budget adjustments are coming at the cost of most of LCG’s departments. Guillory has instructed directors to reduce their spending by 20% by the end of the year. Only police, fire, drainage, and roads are excluded from this requirement.
“I must choose the most important things that are critical to the safety and future prosperity of our city and of our parish,” explained Guillory. “As we stand here today, we simply cannot afford many things that we enjoy and that enrich our community.”
Eight departments are still facing significant cuts, and the mayor president did not fault one director who was not ready to go through with it.
Sen. Boudreaux retired as Lafayette’s Parks and Recreation director Tuesday morning after 36 years of service.
“I have great respect for Gerald, and I wish him the best,” remarked the mayor-president on the sudden retirement. “I understand that the measures we may well need to take regarding our parks and recreation centers are heartbreaking, and I certainly understand his decisions. This is a challenging time for all of us.”
The decision was made during a conversation between the two men Tuesday morning. Guillory stated, “We came to the realization that it would be better to bring in new ideas.”
Guillory said innovative directors and public-private partnerships are required to do more with less are recoup $10M by the end of the fiscal year, Oct. 31, to get things back on track.
When asked about cuts withing Parks and Recreation Guillory told media, “The truth is no decisions have been made, but also the truth is everything is on the table.”
In May, LCG laid off 101 employees. According to Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle, between the closed Science Center and Heymann Center, LCG paid $1.6M dollars in subsidies to keep the costs of their services low.
Angelle said a decision on the fate of the golf courses (which also require LCG subsidies to operate) could come soon.