Jul 11, 2013 6:15 PM by Chris Welty
A Lafayette Parish mayor is taking fiscal responsibility to a new level, spending thousands of dollars less than other mayors across the parish.
In 2012, the six mayors racked up a total of 45-thousand dollars in expenses. They were reimbursed for things like travel, cell phones, and business meals. City-Parish President Joey Durel spent the most money totaling more than 17-thousand dollars.
Duson Mayor, Johnny Thibodeaux spent just 271 dollars and is still bringing new businesses to his town.
Thibodeaux is taking a unique approach to saving his town money.
With temperatures soaring into the mid-nineties, you wouldn't expect to see the mayor sweating and cutting grass at town hall.
"You're going to succeed in life when you're going to be yourself," said Thibodeaux.
But Thibodeaux has no problem doing it and is even using his own lawn equipment to save the town money.
"To help them out, I gave them my bush hog and my tractor because we just can't keep up."
Thibodeaux is modest and doesn't like comparing his work with his peers in other cities. He says everyone is different.
"This is the way that I choose to do things which may be a little different , but this is how I feel comfortable doing it," said Thibodeaux.
Although some may believe other employees are better suited to cut grass while the mayor grows the town, Thibodaux is balancing both hats. He brings the same work ethic to his negotiations that he does to his other, more physical work.
"I'm not going to sit down and just be satisfied with Duson. I think Duson has more to offer the people."
Since Thibodeaux was elected two years ago, the town of Duson has added a new truck stop and offices for a waste management company.
The immediate future includes several new chain restaurants, an rv park, hotel, and offices for an international oil company.
In all, the growth is expected to create more than two hundred new jobs.