Lafayette Mayor-President Guillory Withdraws Controversial Budget Veto
Ahead of a potential showdown with both the Lafayette City and Parish councils, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory told both bodies that he would be withdrawing his line-item veto of the Lafayette Consolidated budget both councils overwhelmingly passed.
At issue was more than $250,000 in pay raises for certain staff at LCG. The raises were included in Guillory's budget. Both councils were skeptical of the raises and amended the budget proposition and passed a budget without the raises included. Guillory vetoed their amended budget, adding the raises back in.
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory quietly defied the unanimous will of Lafayette’s city and parish councils Monday to add $259,000 in raises back into Lafayette Consolidated Government’s budget for next year.
Guillory used his line-item veto power to restore funding for 15 raises totaling $259,000 a year, including 11 pay increases amounting to $211,000 for his hand-picked department directors, several of which amounted to more than $20,000 each.
In a break from prior practice, Guillory’s administration did not announce his veto and instead sent notice of the decision solely to the city and parish councils in an email at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
In response, the councils prepared for a joint council meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 4, where they planned to override his veto.
In a message delivered to the councils on Friday, September 30, Guillory announced he was withdrawing his veto "based on recent, productive conversations with Council Members."
Based on recent, productive conversations with Council Members, I am withdrawing my line item veto. We will continue to have these important discussions about the future of our City and Parish which are vital to our recruiting and retention efforts of public servants. This will ensure the high-quality level of service that our people demand and deserve. I look forward to working with the Councils to further accomplish great things for the City and Parish of Lafayette and the Citizens that we are blessed to serve.
The Guillory administration maintained that the line-item veto to restore spending was legal, but the decision to withdraw the veto signals that the administration wishes to avoid a showdown with the city and parish councils.