Biography

Joel Robideaux, Mayor-President
Phone:
(337) 291-8300
Email: JRobideaux@LafayetteLA.gov
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4017-C, Lafayette, LA 70502

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Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux hosted his inaugural parish-wide address, titled Robideaux Report, on the evening of Thursday, March 30, 2017 at the Heymann Center. During his speech, Mr. Robideaux spoke about his administration's first year, including highlights and challenges, and gave attendees a glimpse of his new cultural economy initiative for 2017. Missed the Robideaux Report, Year-in-Review? Get a recap here, or you can watch it in its entirety thanks to AOC Community Media.

Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux was elected in October 2015, and officially stepped into the role on January 4, 2016. 
 
After taking office, the immediate challenge for the administration was the budget. A comprehensive review was conducted to address the gap created by the decline in sales tax revenue. In the 2016 fiscal year, LCG was successful in refinancing three City Sales Tax Bond issues, producing savings of more than $14.4 million to be realized over the next ten years. Mr. Robideaux takes seriously the responsibility to run government efficiently and is committed to providing a fiscally responsible budget that balances the needs of constituents.
 
Campaigning on the promise of “working together,” Mayor-President Robideaux has been regularly meeting with the other Mayors, LCG elected officials and staff, local business and civic leaders and constituents to understand parish-wide needs.
 
The unprecedented rainfall and the historic floods in August of 2016 was the biggest challenge of the administration’s first year in office. Since the flood, Mr. Robideaux has sought new ways for the parish to become better prepared and quicker to recover from future challenges and has been working to build public and private partnerships to achieve that goal. The administration has participated in or conducted multiple workshops with renowned land use and planning experts to address the parish’s budget crisis and to create a more resilient community to better handle an unexpected event. As a member of Governor John Bel Edwards’ Restore Louisiana Task Force and Chairman of the housing sub-committee, Mr. Robideaux knows the need to address drainage by working with officials from the local, regional, state and national levels. 
 
In keeping to his commitment to move Lafayette forward, Mr. Robideaux has proposed a 1.10 mills rededication (approximately $2.5M annually) of the existing “Public Health Millage” to help address drainage issues. The November 18 ballot proposal also includes the rededication of $9M currently in the Public Health Fund’s savings account for critical drainage projects.
 
During his inaugural parish-wide address in March of 2017, Mr. Robideaux announced the launch of CREATE (Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, Economy) as an initiative to capitalize on Lafayette’s culture to further diversify the economy. CREATE is envisioned to galvanize the brand of Lafayette Parish as a cultural and recreational destination and expand upon one of our greatest and most innate qualities – our culture – as an economic driver. Mr. Robideaux’s Public Health Millage rededication proposal also includes the rededication of .25 mills (approximately $500,000) to fund the launch of CREATE. Branding the community as a cultural, recreational and entertainment hub is also important to retaining and attracting future generations to the region. CREATE is a parish-wide, interagency, multi-year effort.
 
Early in his administration, Mr. Robideaux committed to transforming the Lafayette Animal Shelter to “no kill.” The popular initiative's early successes include a fellowship with Target Zero, increased collaborations with local animal rescue organizations, substantial euthanasia rate improvements and expanded adoption hours. The initiative achieved a significant milestone on August 11, 2017 when Mayor-President Robideaux signed a no kill ordinance into law which significantly lowered adoption fees and allowed for a feline Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) program. With the TNR program, Lafayette Parish joined model no kill shelters across the country by humanely managing the community cat population. Mr. Robideaux recognizes that a no kill shelter is not only a more humane approach, but is also more cost effective because it eliminates the costs associated with euthanizing animals.
 
As a major gateway to the city, parish and university, Mayor-President Robideaux has identified the need to improve University Avenue. In its current condition, the University corridor does not reflect the quality of place our citizens deserve and it does not appropriately welcome our visitors to Lafayette. At the 2016 Mayors’ Institute on City Design, Mr. Robideaux engaged with architects, urban designers, planners and fellow Mayors from around the country for input from experts and peers on opportunities and challenges surrounding the corridor. The Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization awarded Lafayette Consolidated Government more than $500,000 to fund two projects on the University Avenue corridor. One project will fund the design and construction of a roundabout on University Avenue at Renaud Drive, just north of the Interstate. A second project will be the development of a corridor plan for University Avenue to unify the planning efforts along the state highway. Together with the Council, funding will be dedicated through a bond sale to begin the esthetic improvements such as planting trees and building sidewalks along the corridor. Through these efforts, Mr. Robideaux believes University Avenue can provide economic prosperity and a quality of life for those who live and work along the corridor.
 
On a live weekly radio show called “The Sport of Politics,” Mayor-President Robideaux shares his position on issues, opens the phone lines to discuss the public’s thoughts and ideas, and invites community leaders to share news and views on current local, regional and state-wide topics.
 
As a veteran member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, then-Representative Robideaux served in many leadership roles including Speaker Pro Tempore, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay, Louisiana State Bond Commission member and as Chairman of the Retirement Committee.
 
During his tenure as a State Representative, Mayor-President Robideaux was recognized by his colleagues with the coveted Hudson Cup, the "Gentleman of the House" award for the legislator who “most exemplifies the qualities of decorum, respect, humor and leadership” during the 2013 legislative session and in 2010 was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House.
 
Mayor-President Robideaux grew up in Lafayette where he and his wife Bobette raised their three boys -- Dylan, Brennan and Luke. He is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and LSU, earning his master’s degree in Finance before becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). For 20 years he owned and operated a successful accounting firm in Lafayette, serving individuals, families and businesses before being elected as Lafayette Parish’s chief executive.
 
Mayor-President Robideaux has been active in the community, having served as Charter President of Kiwanis of Vermilion and a board member for both Camp De Bon Coeur and Habitat for Humanity. He has been an adjunct faculty member at UL and an instructor for Junior Achievement. As a fan of youth sports, he also coached for Lafayette Little League Baseball and Lafayette Youth Soccer.