|L.J. “Joey” Durel, Jr.
Lafayette Businessman Joey Durel is in his third term as Lafayette City-Parish President. He is a Lafayette native who graduated from UL Lafayette in 1975 with a degree in Business Administration. He has more than 27 years of business experience, and his entrepreneurial spirit has led him into several business and leadership ventures. Before holding political office, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. He is also a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class X and Leadership Louisiana.
He took office in January 2004, and since that time, his administration has succeeded in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government. Tangible improvements to government functions have come through utilizing technology and practicing accountability. Cost savings have resulted from streamlining jobs and reducing attorney billable hours.
Durel’s influence has also helped unite Lafayette as a hub for technology. He appointed the first-ever CIO for Lafayette Consolidated Government, and perhaps more importantly for Lafayette’s future, he was instrumental in spearheading the “Fiber to the Home” initiative. In 2005, Lafayette voters approved the project by a 62% to 38% margin, allowing Lafayette Utilities System to move forward in building a 100% fiber optic network that put Lafayette on the map as one of the only cities in the world with such a system. In 2008, because of his leadership on the Fiber initiative, Durel was asked to serve as the Chairman of the Policy Makers Council of the American Public Power Association, a position he held for a year.
Durel has embraced Lafayette as a center for culture and the arts since taking office. Under Durel’s leadership, the arts and culture community has thrived and the city has made countless “best of” lists and received many accolades. Last summer (2010), Lafayette was recognized as one of the top six cities for music in the country by Oakland Tribune writer Jim Harrington and was listed with traditional favorites like Austin, Chicago, and New York. This summer, Lafayette was once again named to RelocateAmerica’s “Top 100 Places to Live” annual list and was named “Best for Food” by Rand McNally and USA Today.
An open and accessible administration is a top priority of the Durel administration. He meets with all residents and hosts a weekly call-in radio show called “Lafayette Live with Joey Durel.”
In 2010, he was recognized for his leadership of Lafayette, as well as his success in bringing a business mindset to operating Lafayette Consolidated Government, when The Independent Weekly named him CEO of the Year.
In October 2011, Durel ran for a third and final term as Lafayette City-Parish President, and he won. His third term began in January 2012.