Raises approved for Mayor-President’s office; not for LCG, LUS employees

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LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) — Raises for employees working under the Lafayette Consolidated Government failed, could not be overridden, or were postponed by the city and parish councils Tuesday night.

There might have been different outcomes if the city council did not have two members out sick. The three remaining members couldn’t meet a consensus so no majorities were met.

The city and parish councils found themselves on opposite sides of both issues they debated Tuesday night. The first was overriding a veto by Mayor-President Josh Guillory which put raises back into the budget for four officials in his office. Four of five parish councilmen let the veto stay, and although two of the three city councilmen present wanted a veto override, that was not a majority of the city council since two members were out sick.

Next, the Lafayette city and parish councils voted to reinstate a 2% raise to LCG & LUS employees and officials which was taken away as a precaution of the economic downturn accompanying COVID-19.

The councils assured the public it would not include a pay raise for them or a double-dip inside the mayor-president’s office. Kevin Naquin stated, “This is not about us who want to introduce the 2%. This about the employees.”

Members of the public questioned where all the money came from since 139 employees were laid off this year.

Mayor-President Josh Guillory said, “Every department has fewer people in their department doing more with less. I think that (the raise) is warranted.”

“We cut $29M dollars in this budget,” Guillory added. “We have been very fiscally responsible, but our number one asset is our people, and the people we have executing that budget that you approved, we need to take care of them.”

Any dissent in the city council prevented the raise from being introduced. Councilwoman Liz Hebert did not support it and encouraged fellow council members to do the same.

“I feel like now is not the time to be handing out raises using taxpayer funds at this time. There are too many people in this community who have lost their jobs, are being furloughed, and in my opinion, this year is not the year to be doing that,” Hebert stated.

Parish Councilman Kevin Naquin and City Councilwoman Liz Hebert were the only two opposing the pay raises, so they passed on the parish side but not the city side. Since the ordinance required approval by the majority of both councils, it failed.

Votes adjusting the Lafayette police and fire departments’ payment plans with the cost of living were postponed because City Council Chairman Pat Lewis had to leave early as he is recovering from surgery. As a result, a quorum could not be met and the meeting was postponed until the next meeting on October 20.

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