Committee members broke up into small groups Wednesday to discuss areas in Lafayette Parish they believe are most in need of planning.
The Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee took its first steps Wednesday, holding an inaugural luncheon-meeting and setting the general agenda for what will be 18 months of public hearings, meetings with planning consultants and ultimately legislative initiatives before the City-Parish Council.
The group comprises about 30 people — nine of whom, by our count, are women and eight of whom are black, with some overlap — from a variety of employment and professional sectors in Lafayette Parish including the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, UL, the Acadian Home Builders Association, Lafayette Consolidated Government, arts/culture groups and non-profit agencies.
Attorney Kevin Blanchard is the committee’s chairman; Pastor Deborah Young is vice chair.
Blanchard says he hopes the process will be a true community effort. “We’re going to end up with the plan that we deserve,” he says. “And we’re going to end up with the plan that is going to represent the folks who come and participate.”
City-Parish President Joey Durel also urged the group to get the whole parish involved. “This can’t be the politicians’ plan. If this doesn’t become the citizens of Lafayette’s plan it’s destined to failure,” Durel told the committee. “You have a chance to put your thumbprint on a little bit of Lafayette.”
Last December Durel signed a $1.2 million contract with Philadelphia planning firm Wallace, Roberts & Todd, whose consultants will work with the advisory committee and LCG planners to develop a comprehensive plan — through a series of public meetings and, they hope, via a lot of public input — designed to address such long-term issues as transportation, drainage, recreation and neighborhood planning.
The plan will be based in part on Lafayette In a Century, an earlier comprehensive plan put together in the 1990s by LCG planners and volunteer committees.
“The great advantage to a comprehensive plan is that it makes us focus, both private sector and public sector, and it makes people think about the future,” says LCG Planning Manager Mike Hollier. “Everybody has a role to play in how this comes together, which is so exciting for me.”
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
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 offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
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.