Now in his third and final term, City-Parish President Joey Durel still has a full agenda to discuss at the annual State of the Parish Luncheon address.
Each year IND Media produces a series of events through our INDevents Division. Two of them are extensions of the lifestyle side of our editorial coverage, but most are luncheon lectures featuring newsmakers and opinion leaders on topics and trends of local, regional or even national importance.
Through the years, the list of presenters at these luncheons has grown impressive: Dr. Richard Florida (author, Rise of the Creative Class), Steve Coll (two time Pulitzer Prize winning author of Private Empire, Ghost Wars, and others), political analyst Charlie Cook, economists Dr. Loren Scott and Peter Ricciutti, Ambassador Dennis Ross (author of Statecraft, recently retired from service in the Mid East), the late Matthew Simmons (energy analyst and author of Twilight in the Desert), John Barry (author, Rising Tide), former Congressman Mickey Edwards (VP of The Aspen Institute and author of The Parties vs. The People), Senator Mary Landrieu, Congressman Charles Boustany, Governor Kathleen Blanco, and many others.
In the very first year of The IND’s Lecture Series in 2003, we introduced the concept of a State of The Parish Luncheon to the two candidates in the run off election for Mayor President. Both Joey Durel and his opponent Glen Weber committed to the idea, and since then the SOTP luncheon has opened the Lecture Series each February. Unopposed in the years since, Durel has used the luncheon as a bully pulpit to announce and rally support for many key initiatives throughout his tenure: Safe Lafayette (and by association, Safe Schools); the idea of preserving UL’s former horse farm as a passive park, the first-ever comprehensive land use plan for Lafayette Parish, the LUS fiber-to-the-home network, a precinct system for police and the settling of a long-standing feud over police pay, plus a yearly overview of LCG’s budget and other general issues.
As dictated by charter, Durel is now in his third and final term. As dictated by his nature, he is not slowing down as his years in office wane. “We have a lot to talk about this year: consolidation fixes, annexation agreements, the horse farm, the allocation process (how “parish” government reimburses city government for work done outside of the city), comp plan, and the announcement of the Lafayette Entertainment Initiative,” he listed in an email to me this week. “I am in my final three years and have more goals I’d like to achieve.”
The luncheon is sponsored by IBERIABANK and held at The Cajundome Convention Center; it is a sell out every year. To help make the event more accessible, theatre-style seating is also available at no charge for those who want to come for Durel’s presentation only (without lunch), and AOC records the program to re-broadcast multiple times in the weeks following the event. Durel has certainly used the bully pulpit effectively throughout his term. You can expect this year to be just as eventful.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.