State of the Community luncheon held
By: Howell Dennis
CROWLEY - Several area businessmen, office holders and concerned citizens packed the banquet room at the Grand Opera House of the South Friday to listen to Police Jury President A.J. Credeur, Acadia Parish School Superintendent John E. Bourque and Crowley Mayor Greg Jones give their thoughts on where the city of Crowley presently stands and what the future holds. Each of the men read a prepared speech and took turns answering questions from the audience.
The event was called State of the Community Luncheon and was hosted by the Crowley Chamber of Commerce.
First up was Credeur, who spoke of how the police jury had progressed from during the past several years.
“We rarely see the 4-4 tie votes that used to block us from achievements,” he said. “We work together for all the districts of Acadia Parish, not just the ones we represent.”
Credeur said that the police jury has made great strides in paying off parish debts. He also mentioned progress that was being made in improving LeGros Airport and repairing parish roads.
“The jury is look at good things to come,” he added.
Next up was Bourque who has seen drastic improvements during his tenure.
“I encourage everyone here to stop by our schools to see what we’ve done and how they’ve improved,” he said. “Nine years ago I wouldn’t have extended that invitation.”
Bourque pointed out that the Acadia school system was the largest employer in the parish with an annual payroll of $54 million. He also gave some numbers which showed just how much the school system has grown over the years.
“Our budget in 1968 was $5 million,” said Bourque. “Today we work with a $90 million budget.”
In 2010, Bourque received the Louisiana School Superintendent of the Year Award.
Jones was next up and emphasized that he wouldn’t be able to do his job without the members of the Crowley city council who he recognized individually. He also mentioned several improvements that were made during his tenure.
“We have improved our parks, our wastewater facility and our downtown as everyone can see is looking wonderful,” he said. “And even with the economy the way it has been Crowley has still remained ahead of the state and national unemployment average.”
“We have annexation and expansion on the horizon and the service road north of I-10 is becoming a reality,” he added. “The look and overall feel for the future of Crowley is very positive.”
Several area dignitaries were on hand for the event including State Senator Dan “Blade” Morrish, State Representative Jack Montoucet and Rayne Mayor Jimbo Petitjean. Also in attendance were candidates Nathan Perry and Jonathan Perry who in three weeks will be in a special election for the Senate seat vacated by Nick Gautreaux.