Lafayette Consolidated Government appears ready to follow through with City-Parish President Joey Durel’s desire to sever relationships with the city of Broussard.
According to the smaller Lafayette Parish municipality, LCG is declining to renew a $40,000 contract with Broussard to provide fire protection to unincorporated parts of Broussard. The southeast parish city learned the news this week when Broussard Fire Chief Bryan Champagne contacted his counterpart in Lafayette, Chief Robert Benoit. Champagne is assuring residents in unincorporated Lafayette Parish that Broussard will respond to calls in their area.
Amy Jones, a Lafayette-based publicist who is representing Broussard in its ongoing public-relations battle with Durel and LCG, accuses Durel and consolidated government of risking public safety to grind an ax: ““We cannot continue to play games with public safety and put citizens in the unincorporated areas at risk,” Jones says. “The city of Broussard will continue responding as long as it can, but the city of Lafayette’s refusal to sign this contract will eventually lead to less fire protection in the unincorporated areas. The State Fire Marshall has included language that should satisfy the risk management requirements for Lafayette Consolidated Government. That contract should be signed and the funds released for the protection of Lafayette Parish citizens.”
Durel announced earlier this month that he has instructed department heads in LCG to research how consolidated government can go about severing ties with Broussard, starting with Lafayette Utility System’s wholesale water contract with Broussard, a contract LUS accuses Broussard of breaching by bypassing meters and essentially stealing extra water from Lafayette to meet the needs of its growing community.
We spoke to Durel late Friday evening by phone. He confirmed the report about the fire contract and said that while Lafayette has similar arrangements for rural fire protection with the four other smaller municipalities in the parish, those towns "have not sued the hand that feeds them," a reference to lawsuits Broussard has filed against the city of Lafayette challenging annexations in south Lafayette Parish.
But Durel added, "We care a lot about the people of Broussard, as we do everyone in the parish."
Read more on the tension between Durel and Langlinais here.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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