Everyone is okay with the city-parish taking a dump on the big, out-of-town corporations because, well, they're big, out-of-town corporations. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that some of this will land on you and your neighbors. Nor does it seem to occur to anyone that if the city-parish gets away with this, you and your neighbors could be next.
The city-parish president has promised that this will not cause an increase in utility rates. He must make a contradictory promise that he will raise rates, if necessary to pay off these bonds. Only one of these promises is legally binding. The other is based on his presumptions about the future, which no one can know. There is no way any of us can know the unintended negative consequences of this government usurpation of the free-market. All we do know is that the people of Lafayette are the forced guarantors on this liability.
Do any of the proponents know anyone who can't even afford a computer and struggles just to pay their utility bill? Has it occurred to anyone that there is a very real possibility that the least among us could end up with higher rates just so that the rest of us can surf the 'net faster?
The only sure winners in this are the bondholders, because the people of Lafayette guarantee that they'll get their money, and the city-parish government, whose power expands. Not only would the city-parish now have a larger slice of the local economic pie, it would also now control a significant segment of the information we're allowed to have. The city-parish might not abuse this power, but it would certainly be within its reach.
In my opinion, a successful vote would not make this right, but to move forward with no vote at all would certainly be worse. If this does go forward, I suggest the people of Lafayette hedge their position by buying some of these bonds.
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