LAFAYETTE, La — Interim Lafayette Parks and Recreation Director Frank Wittenberg has resigned.
Wittenberg took the job as Interim director after the retirement of longtime parks and rec director Gerald Boudreaux.
In an email to the Mayor-President, Wittenberg says that the decision to resign and retire came after discussion with his family over several weeks.
"I do not want to become an impediment for your Administration or for the Department or for LCG," the email reads. "Therefore, I am resigning as the Interim Director of Parks and Recreation effective today [July 30] and signing my retirement paperwork as I am fortunate enought to be able to do so."
Wittenberg goes on to say it is time to explore other opportunities. According to Tom Meyers, commission chairman for Carencro Parks and Recreation, Wittenberg was offered the job as Carencro Parks Director and has accepted the offer. In this position, Wittenberg would oversee operations of Pelican Park and the Carencro Indoor Sports Complex. His salary is $50,000.
In response to the resignation, Guillory thanked Wittenberg for his service saying "You were placed in a very difficult position here recently, and you handled yourself with the utmost professionalism."
In June Mayor President Josh Guillory announced former director Gerald Boudreaux's resignation and retirement, He officially retired in July.
In a press conference in July Boudreaux said that his decision to resign was because the direction the administration was going in wasn't the same direction as he felt they needed to go in. He worried that cuts to the parks budget could cause a spike in juvenile crime. Read more here.
Lafayette Consolidated Government and LCG have been scrutinized recently for proposed budget cuts made to the Park and Recreation Department. On July 17, Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced in a video address that four recreation centers in North Lafayette would close in the coming budget year. At least 37 positions in the Parks and Recreation Department would be eliminated.
At a Wednesday Town hall meeting, protesters chanted for 25 minutes until they were escorted out by police. The protesters chanted "Save our Rec Centers" and "Black Lives Matter" to voice their disapproval of the coming closures to those recreation centers on the north side of Lafayette parish. See that here.