From The Publisher: April 2015
By Art Suberbielle
Sometimes we all need a good kick in the seat of the pants. In last month’s column, I mentioned how Iberia Parish lost its chance to attract a major industrial company to locate at Acadiana Regional Airport. The decision to not locate here had nothing to do with the suitability of the airport property. When the prospect decided to visit the site unannounced, he was taken aback by the unsightliness of the community. And he was kind enough to tell us in no uncertain terms why he would pass us by.
Certainly everyone in the community was dismayed at this turn of events. But instead of bemoaning the decision, community leaders have taken very positive steps to turn things around. A coalition of Operation Progress, Iberia Industrial Development Foundation, the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce, and a number of other local businesses have committed resources to support Project Front Yard – Iberia. The first major initiative will be held on Saturday, April 18th to encourage a community wide clean-up. The event, Trash Bash & Boogi, promises some food, music and fun following a clean-up effort.
But let’s not fool ourselves. No matter how successful the effort on April 18th, there will still be plenty more to be done. For long-term success, we must change how our community views itself with regard to its appearance. While reprogramming minds doesn’t occur overnight, if we have the courage to make a long-term commitment the goal can be achieved. Some will whole-heartedly support Project Front Yard from day one. Others will have to be persuaded over time. Are you up to the task of being a clean community advocate?