As reported by The INDsider yesterday, Bruce Conque is stepping down from the city-parish council in order to devote himself fully to a new job with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Conque will step into a newly-created vice president’s position with the Chamber to handle marketing and government affairs. He will remain on the council as chair of the finance committee through budget hearings, which wrap up Sept. 30. Conque starts his new job with the Lafayette Chamber Oct. 1. The council will then have 15 days to appoint someone to fill the District 6 seat until a special election can be called to decide who will fill out the remainder of Conque’s term. The earliest the special election can be held is April 9, 2009.

Conque officially announced his plans at a press conference this morning at City Hall. Here is his prepared statement:  

I will be resigning my position representing District 6 on the Lafayette City Parish Council effective October 1, 2008. I do so to pursue an opportunity with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce to advance my personal and professional interests in the private sector. 

While my professional career schedule in the past has been flexible and allowed me to devote considerable time to what is a part-time elective office, my new position with the Chamber will require significant commitments of time and energy; both of which preclude my serving on the Council as an effective representative of District 6. 

The Chamber job comes at an opportune time in my professional life. As an independent consultant in advertising, marketing and public relations, it has become increasingly more difficult to retain and recruit business in light of the code of ethics and disclosure laws which govern me as an elected official. I fully support these good government measures but I have found them to be restrictive as to whom I may represent and how my private business interests are subject to public scrutiny.

It must be noted that this is a position that I neither sought nor for which I was recruited. The opportunity came about following a series of happenchance meetings and discussions which I have had with community and business leaders in recent months. I look forward to joining an organization in which I have been an long time active member. 

I'm announcing my resignation today in order that I may focus on my role in chairing this Council's first budget review process which begins next week. Also, by announcing my resignation at this early date, there will be more than adequate time to determine who will be appointed to temporarily replace me on the Council and to then allow those who are interested in serving District 6 on the Council for the remainder of this term to organize an election campaign.
Finally, my Council resignation certainly sidetracks any political plans for my immediate future. I will have served the public as an elected official for four years and nine months; and, overall, my public service extends to nearly two decades. However, there comes a time when an opportunity presents itself and it will and cannot be ignored. I enjoy serving the community and will continue to so; albeit in a different arena.

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