Long-time Parks & Rec Director Gerald Boudreaux retires after 40-plus years at LCG
Andrew Capps, Lafayette Daily Advertiser, June 7, 2020
Gerald Boudreaux speaks to the crowd the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Committee hosts Musical Extravaganza at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Photo: James Mays/Special to the Advertiser)
Long-time Lafayette Consolidated Government Parks and Recreation Director Sen. Gerald Boudreaux retired from his position at LCG this week, Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced Tuesday.
Boudreaux served as the department’s director for 36 years after joining LCG in the late 1970s. He won election to the Louisiana State Senate in 2015 to represent the district spanning from downtown Lafayette north to Carencro and Opelousas. He was elected to his second term in October.
In announcing Boudreaux’s departure Tuesday, Guillory said that a conversation with the long-time director Tuesday morning prompted Boudreaux’s departure just six months after the new mayor-president elected to keep Boudreaux on as director after taking office in January.
“After this morning, we had a little talk and came to the realization that it’s probably time to go ahead and retire, and I respect that decision,” Guillory said Tuesday.
“The last thing I want is to take away from the distinguished service that this gentleman gave to our community,” he added. “I respect him too much to indulge in negative conversation.”
Mayor President Josh Guillory speaking at press conference at City Hall in Lafayette, LA. Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)
Boudreaux was unable to be reached Thursday, but he told The Current’s Leslie Turk on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be commenting on his retirement.
“I’m evaluating my options at this time, and I will have no further comment,” Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux was among a dwindling group of directors from prior administrations that were allowed to keep their jobs at LCG after Guillory took office in January, as just three of nine department directors now remain from before Guillory was sworn in.
The new administration publicly sought applications for Boudreaux’s position and three other directors’ in November while the long-time director still held the job during Guillory’s transition into office.
Sen. Gerald Boudreaux reads a book to a class of three-year-olds at the Gethsemane LaPetite Early Childhood Development Center following a summit on early childhood education. (Photo: Kirsten Fiscus/Advertiser)
Guillory said Tuesday he believed that Boudreaux’s abrupt retirement was expedited by circumstances in the past week, though he did not go into specifics, and he said the move was not a surprise to him.
Boudreaux’s retirement follows the decision to layoff 99 employees in Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Community Development Department in May and was followed by Guillory’s announcement Tuesday that department directors will be made to cut their budgets by 20% before the end of this fiscal year in October.
It is not yet clear how the Parks and Recreation Department will be affected, as it has so far been spared from layoffs and was not significantly impacted by Guillory’s $5.9 million cost cutting proposal that Lafayette’s city and parish councils will vote on during their June 16 meeting.
Still, speculation has swirled that LCG's recreation centers may be closed to save money and help the city’s budget, which Guillory addressed Tuesday saying that “everything is on the table.”
“The truth is no decisions have been made, but also everything is on the table,” Guillory said. “We only have so much money coming in, and we can’t spend money we don’t have.”
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