Mayor-president Joel Robideaux is entering his 3rd year at the helm of the hub city, and 2017 has seen many headlines that will help shape the future of Lafayette.
First, the floods of 2016 prompted Roubideaux to push for a resolution to improve drainage in the city, which passed on the ballot in November.
“I think everyone would agree that every rain event seems to be more severe and puts a lot of homes in jeopardy, so we’ve got to do something,” Robideaux says.
The second, the controversy surrounding benefits for officers who die in the line of duty like Corporal Michael Middlebrook. Now, health insurance premiums for surviving dependents of those fallen officers will remain at the same rate as employees.
“We wanted to improve that if we could, and we’re thrilled that we’re able to do that,” the Mayor-President says.
On the state of the oil and gas industry in Lafayette and across Acadiana, Robideaux says: “We don’t control the price of oil and gas, we control our cultural economy, and I think that ultimately that will benefit us in the long run.”
Robideaux believes the C.R.E.A.T.E. initiative that passed in November will help balance the uncertainty of the oil and gas industry.
“We think we can do a better job of branding ourselves, and making it attractive for businesses and families to want to move here, live here, work here,” he explains.
As for big initiatives in 2018, Robideaux says he sees some on the horizon.
“We feel like with our culture and with all of the really great things that make us unique, this is a great place to live. Lafayette is still positioned to succeed and do really well so any announcements will come when we can make them, but all is good,” Robideaux says.