Tax stance may be issue in Joel Robideaux’s bid for Lafayette mayor _lowres

Advocate Staff Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Louisiana House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, addresses the Press Club of Baton Rouge on June 15. Robideaux was a key architect in the recently enacted plan to balance the state's operating budget. He now is turning his attention to a run for city-parish president of the Lafayette Consolidated Government.

Incoming Lafayette City-Parish Mayor-President Joel Robideaux announced two more administrative appointments Wednesday as he prepares to take office next week, bringing in a new city-parish attorney and shifting an existing administrator to lead a different department.

Carlee Alm-LaBar, who has served as chief development officer for outgoing Mayor-President Joey Durel, has been named director of the Department of Planning, Zoning and Development. She will replace Eleanor Bouy, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

Robideaux has chosen longtime Lafayette attorney Paul D. Escott, a member of his transition team, to replace Mike Hebert as city-parish attorney. Escott runs his own law firm, which focuses on complex multiparty litigation and contract law.

In another staffing change, Tonia Khosropour has been tapped to temporarily head city-parish government’s Information Services and Technology Department while Robideaux’s administration searches for a new chief information officer to replace Kevin Samples, who headed that division under Durel.

Robideaux had already announced several other appointments.

Lafayette Utilities System Director Terry Huval, Fire Department Chief Robert Benoit and Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups will continue in their positions.

Oilfield service company executive Lowell Duhon will serve as chief administrative officer, replacing Dee Stanley, who lost to Robideaux in the October election to replace Durel.

Stanley plans to start work in January as a vice president at public relations firm SIDES & Associates.

Shanea Morrison Nelson, a Lafayette native who works as an administrator at Henderson State University in Arkansas, will replace Patricia Leyendecker as director of community development, and Tom Carroll, who retired as director of public works in 2014, will return to serve as interim public works director pending a national search to fill the position.

Durel’s most recent public works director, Kevin Blanchard, stepped down earlier this year to take a job as general counsel with Southern Lifestyle Development.