Mayor-President Josh Guillory seeks to split Lafayette Public Works into three departments

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LAFAYETTE, LA — Incoming Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced the first change he wants to be made when he’s sworn into office, splitting the public works department into three separate entities.

Mayor-President Elect Josh Guillory said he believes the various projects being managed by public works are far too broad and important for one director to oversee.

“It’s too big,” Guillory admitted. “The public works department right now it’s just too big.”

His proposed split would create separate directors for drainage as well as traffic, roads, and bridges.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t remember the sheetrock that I pulled out of some people’s houses and other of my friends and neighbors pulled out of houses, and I never want our community to go through that again,” Guillory said when asked why he’s making drainage a priority his first full day in office.

Tuesday he plans to introduce an ordinance to the new city and parish councils that will reorganize Lafayette’s Public Works Department. His proposal would split public works into three departments, moving drainage maintenance and the maintenance of traffic, roads, and bridges to two new departments with two new department heads.

“When he or she wakes up, when he or she eats lunch, when he or she goes to bed, they’re thinking of drainage, and we don’t have that right now,” Guillory explained. “Me, as a mayor-president, I need a department head that it is their complete and 100% isolated focus.”

In the proposed reorganization, the department of public works will continue to oversee issues related to capital improvements, environmental quality, facilities and vehicle maintenance, and parking and transit.

According to Guillory, the reorganization will help Lafayette’s Consolidated Government do more with less. He didn’t explain how the entity will save money apart from saying none of the two newly created departments will be relocated from the public works building.

“It’s about accountability, it’s about efficiency, and it’s about transparency,” Guillory said. “That’s what my administration will do not only in this department but in every department across the board.”

The ordinance behind the change will be introduced to the new city and parish councils on Tuesday, Jan. 7, with final adoption on January 21.

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