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Guillory's veto to restore 250,000 to NLRA gets unanimously overturned

In a unanimous decision which did come as a surprise to some from the public both councils voted to override Guillory's line-item veto meaning that money will now go towards traffic calming where the funds were originally allocated to.

Posted: Oct 6, 2021 1:58 PM

Lafayette - The Lafayette parish and city councils held a joint meeting tonight at city hall to discuss a line-item veto exercised by Mayor-President Josh Guillory regarding 250,000 dollars in budget money that has been in limbo since the veto.

In a unanimous decision which did come as a surprise to some from the public both councils voted to override Guillory's line-item veto meaning that money will now go towards traffic calming where the funds were originally allocated to.

North Lafayette resident Pastor Kerry Williams said "it’s sad. It’s a sad day in Lafayette. It’s a sad day for the city council. Once again, you’ll find that it’s ridiculous that you voted ‘no.’"

The veto showdown at last night's joint meeting hit a flatline when Guillory's administration determined that regardless of the outcome the money would not be given to the NLRA. Wallace Senegal, who has spent his entire life on the northside of Lafayette, says that 250,000 dollars wouldn’t be enough anyway.

"250,000 dollars that shouldn’t be given out because it’s not enough money to do anything on the north side," Senegal said.

According to NLRA chairwoman Sam Fluegence, the money would have served as seed money or money to get the ball rolling when it comes to the NLRA which had their first meeting since 2016 last week.

"The quarter of a million was seed money," Fluegence said. "The mayor-president made that perfectly clear that the 250,000 dollars is a drop in the bucket."

However, the 250,000 dollars was never in the proposed budget for the NLRA when Guillory exercised the veto -- meaning money that was never allocated cannot be restored. Community advocate Keith Faulk says the money should have gone back into the general fund and then allocated towards redeveloping north Lafayette.

"Most of the projects that need to be funded on the north side of Lafayette qualify for those federal dollars," Faulk said. "But yet we hear nothing from the government about what they’re going to do with that 86 million."

Faulk says there’s been a lot of talk, but he wants to see action.

"Let’s get down to business and support the north side. Redevelop the north side, that’s all we’re asking," said Faulk.

Despite the outcome of the vote, Guillory did stress that he is committed to the NLRA and getting the north side community the resources, it needs.

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