Proving itself a master of rhetoric, the south Lafayette Parish municipality answers City-Parish President Joey Durel’s announcement Thursday morning on KPEL that the city of Lafayette will discontinue fire dispatch services for Broussard, which Durel says will double Broussard fire insurance rates. The discontinuance of the service is in response to a lawsuit Broussard filed challenging an annexation Lafayette did near its town line.

Gerald deLaunay, an attorney who represents Broussard, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

Mr. Durel and others in his administration are obviously more interested in advancing their political agenda than in the welfare of the citizens of Lafayette Parish.   His most recent threat to cut off 911 emergency fire service to the citizens and businesses in Broussard would not only be blatantly illegal, but demonstrates his and his administration’s complete disregard of public safety, as well as a lack of common sense and morality.  The citizens and businesses of Broussard pay substantial taxes which are levied specifically for 911 services, and they are entitled to receive those services.

By trying to deny emergency fire service to family homes, schools, and nursing homes, Mr. Durel and those who support him show their willingness to sacrifice human life for political reasons.  The latest move also sends a message to the businesses that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure in Lafayette Parish that he does not care about the dangers he would cause their employees, and their property by his completely irresponsible acts.

Mr. Durel’s talk of lawsuits being the reason for his ludicrous acts is pure political deception.   Both of the pending suits between the parties were caused by Lafayette.

After it was discovered that Lafayette had ignored a wholesale water meter owned and maintained by it which supplied water to Broussard, Lafayette gave Broussard what it has admitted to be an inflated bill for water usage, and told Broussard to file suit if it wanted a refund of excess charges.   When Broussard did just that, Lafayette sought to cancel its contract to sell water to Broussard because of the meter incident.  The court threw out that claim, and Mr. Durel simply won’t accept the court’s ruling.  

When Lafayette attempted a patently illegal annexation of citizens that had asked to come into Broussard, Broussard went to court to challenge the illegal action and defend the wishes of the citizens that had asked to come into Broussard.   At a recent hearing, the court considering the matter called Lafayette’s annexation plan unreasonable on its face.  Mr. Durel won’t accept that either.

Broussard has repeatedly urged Lafayette to put the interests of the citizens of Lafayette Parish ahead of politics, and to agree to sit down with a neutral mediator to work out our differences.  Mr. Durel has refused each request.  If there is anybody in the Durel administration that is willing to stand up to the City-Parish president, and put reason ahead of politics, it is really time for them to come forth.

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