LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Lafayette Consolidated Government is moving forward with plans to increase the Lafayette Mayor-President’s salary. LCG is also considering raising the salaries of some of Josh Guillory’s top administrators.
LCG is proposing raising the Chief Financial Officer’s salary to $198,000, and the salary of the Chief Administrative Officer to $150,000. LCG is also proposing raising the Mayor-President’s salary from $121,000 to $170,000.
At Tuesday’s council meetings, the councils approved an amendment to make the CFO’s salary adjustment take effect in February of 2023. They also voted on an amendment to make the Mayor-President and CAO’s salary raises take effect in January of 2024.
While Lafayette city and parish councils are considering pay raises for some top administrators, a raise for Lafayette’s Fire Chief was taken off the table. This came with push back from city councilman Glenn Lazard.
“My thoughts are that he’s doing a terrific job, and also he’s the one who keeps the fire rating down for the entire parish. So I’m just trying to figure out why we’re not including him in a raise,” Lazard said.
Proposals for significant pay raises for the Mayor-President, the CAO, and the CFO, however, moved forward.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory defended the decision, clarifying that the raise isn’t for him. It’s a raise for the position he holds, and it won’t take effect until the next elected mayor-president is sworn in.
“I wouldn’t expect a pay raise in my current term. I wouldn’t do it,” Guillory said.
City Council Chair Nanette Cook also explained the decision to move forward with a pay raise.
“Apparently the councils both agree that in comparison to other mayor presidents in municipalities our size or smaller, the pay scale was off,” Cook said.
Lessie Leblanc, a community activist who works policy and organization for The Promise of Justice Initiative and holds the district 42 seat on the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee, spoke in front of the councils. She voiced her disagreement with the decision to move forward with the salary raises.
“For a municipality and a parish the size of Lafayette, the current salary is totally in line with salaries across the board in our region,” Leblanc told News Ten.
She says the Mayor-President’s current $120,000 salary should be sufficient.
“We need to expect more out of our leaders before they come to us again with their hands out asking for more and more and more money. I don’t buy the fact that $120,000 isn’t enough to support a family. I know a whole lot of people doing a whole lot more with a whole lot less,” she added.
She says LCG should be focusing on other issues, rather than salary increases.
“It’s an insult. It’s an insult to taxpayers that these elected officials are going to vote themselves raises while they’re closing parks, while they’re shuttering services. They need to get their priorities in order. Their priorities should be the citizens, not themselves,” she said.
The proposal to raise the salary of the Mayor-President and top administrators will be presented at the next LCG meeting for final adoption.