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.
Pop-up dinner of chef Justin Girouard’s creations reflect farming traditions
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.