An LCG veteran and longtime Department of Community Development employee has been named the new head of the department. City-Parish President Joey Durel’s office announced that Patricia Leyendecker has been pegged to replace Ben Berthelot, who resigned in June to take the top job at the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission.
Here’s the press release sent out this afternoon, sans the introduction:
Leyendecker began her career with the city of Lafayette in 1988. During her first stint at Lafayette Consolidated Government, she worked as a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Specialist and was promoted to Intergovernmental Relations and Economic Development Manager. During that time, she completed the National Development Council’s Economic Development Finance Professional series and is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette VI. In 1991, she became a Distinguished Fellow of the Governmental Leadership Institute of the University of New Orleans.
Leyendecker is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (formerly USL) and also holds a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. She returned to Lafayette (from Texas) to assume the role of Housing and Federal Programs Manager in Community Development Department in 2010. She is currently in the Leadership Louisiana Class of 2012.
“I am pleased to accept the opportunity to serve Lafayette and Lafayette Parish and look forward to working with President Durel, CAO Dee Stanley and the City-Parish Council to improve the quality of life for all our citizens. It’s exciting to be back in Lafayette to experience all that Acadiana has to offer,” said Leyendecker in a statement.
City-Parish President Joey Durel offered these words of support of Leyendecker, “Patricia comes to this position highly recommended by her predecessor. Her experience and excellent work over the years with Lafayette Consolidated Government made her a logical fit for this position. The Community Development Department’s work is very diverse, and Patricia has demonstrated in her role as Interim Director that she has an understanding of the range of issues the department faces. I am excited to work more closely with her and know she will do an excellent job leading the department.”
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.