Wednesday, February 23, 2011 In opening his eighth annual State of the Parish address at the Cajundome Convention Center Feb. 16, Joey Durel borrowed a line from Ryan Teten, an assistant political science professor at UL. “Lafayette as a whole is becoming the focal point of culture within the state; Lafayette is becoming a powerhouse of technology and production, and it’s a place where people want to be. It’s a great ‘big-small town.’”
Throughout his speech, the city-parish president reiterated his desire to build Lafayette into a “world-class community,” even when his vision for it may not be popularly embraced: “If you want to see significant improvements in our community, if you want to improve Louisiana, embrace this government. Participate in this government. It’s OK to do so with a cynical eye, but do so with an open eye — and an open mind.”
Durel also emphasized the census’ confirmation of Lafayette’s growth and the role government can — and should — play in making this parish attractive to residents and businesses. He cited the fiber to the premise project, improvements in the fire and police departments, public works projects and the collaborative effort with UL and the Community Foundation of Acadiana to turn the horse farm into a community park. “Lafayette was awarded the status of Tree City USA for the 20th year and for the first time achieved Triple Crown status, putting us in an elite group of 24 other communities in the United States,” he continued. “We have had good, steady growth over the past 10 years. Our growth says that we are a place where people want to live. It also says that this is a place where business wants to locate.”
Durel thanked former City-Parish Attorney Pat Ottinger for his service and welcomed his replacement, Mike Hebert. He also recognized Becky Lalumia, who just retired as CFO after 34 years and welcomed her replacement, Lorrie Toups.
Durel’s “State of the Union” style address, an annual sell-out, is organized by The Independent Weekly and sponsored by IberiaBank.
The Eighth Annual State of the Parish was another sellout.
David Goodwin and Flo Meadows
City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert
Ken Hanes and William Rucks
IberiaBank’s Jerry Vascocu and Bob Lowe
The State of the Parish is sponsored by IberiaBank: Representing IberiaBank at the luncheon were Frank Neuner (advisory board), Kent Hanes, Tony Gordon (advisory board), Pat Trahan, Beth Ardoin, Jerry Vascocu, Jill Merkl, Brandon Hyde, Mary Guidry and Bill Fenstermaker
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.