Biography

 

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

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Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux hosted his second annual parish-wide address, the Robideaux Report, on the evening of Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the Heymann Center. During his presentation, Mr. Robideaux highlighted the administration's accomplishments and challenges from 2017, and also unveiled initiatives for 2018. 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 took office on January 4, 2016.
 
Since that time, Mr. Robide​aux has continued the pursuit of forward-thinking initiatives representative of the community known for its wildcatter spirit. Leveraging Lafayette’s talent and infrastructure for the betterment of the community, he has turned to Smart City approaches to enhance local government’s ability to operate effectively and efficiently.
 
With bold and concentrated efforts, Mr. Robideaux works to create transparency through innovative approaches to address critical issues. In 2017, Mr. Robideaux presented a plan to redicate a portion of an existing millage to direct more revenues to fund drainage projects in flood-prone areas. Voters approved the measure, making $9M in one-time funding immediately available, plus an additional $2.5M annually to bolster stormwater management. Then in February of 2018, Mr. Robideaux announced the 27 initial projects to which the one-time $9M would be allocated. Five months after the announcement of the drainage plan, the Public Works Department launched a website providing up-to-date information on  these drainage improvement projects. The mobile-friendly site, https://projects.lafayettela.gov/projects, details the progress or any delays of each project, as well as the budget, for public tracking.
 
In all, LCG’s Public Works identified 60 projects, totaling 63 miles, of deferred maintenance needs throughout the parish. The estimated cost of all 60 projects is $20M. All of the projects were rated by the number of addresses affected and cost per address, percentage area in a flood zone, number of FEMA and repetitive loss claims, complexity of each project, and any foreseen permitting issues, to ultimately identify the projects to be initially addressed by the one-time funding.
 
Pushing Lafayette’s innovative spirit to the ultimate test, the Robideaux administration applied for and earned a spot in the 2018 Mayors Challenge to compete with more than 300 of the most innovative cities in the country to develop a plan to address an urgent community challenge. As a named finalist, Lafayette is now competing with 34 remaining cities for the $5M grand prize or one of four $1M prizes to bring the idea to life.
Under Mr. Robideaux’s leadership Lafayette was named as a 2017 Gigabit Community by the Mozilla Foundation, joining the company of Eugene, OR, Austin, Chattanooga and Kansas City in this designation, and receiving $150,000 in innovation grants. Lafayette’s innovative momentum continues to draw national and even global attention, being featured along with other leading Smart Cities at recent conferences in Kansas City and Chicago and at SXSW during the “Smart City Day” in 2017.
In 2017 he launched 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 successful rededication proposal also includes the rededication of 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, multi-year effort.  
Mr. Robideaux continues to work towards a no-kill animal shelter for the parish, an initiative he announced early in his administration. 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.
In keeping to his commitment to move Lafayette forward, Mayor-President Robideaux invested in the redevelopment and revitalization of University Avenue, as a major gateway to the city and parish and the University of Louisiana. 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.