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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MAR 6 In this week's post, Jim Brown is remembering former Gov. Jimmie Davis, who was sworn in 70 years ago this week. Included in here is the governor's recipe for raccoon, which was his favorite dish, Brown says. He also tells us who "Sunshine" was - Jimmie's palomino. She's buried at the late governor's farm, Brown says.
MAR 6 Columnist James Gill applies his special combination of wit and sarcasm to our friend Don Briggs in this post. Gill read the oil and gas leader's deposition and almost felt sorry for him -- almost. The problem seems to be related to Mr. Brigg's "stupendous ignorance of his purported area of expertise," Gill writes. He also credits Briggs with doing more for the environmental cause in a couple hours than tree-huggers can accomplish in years.
MAR 6 If you're on the Facebook, you've seen this video of two NOLA police officers line dancing with some Mardi Gras revelers. But this one is even better: it's a NOLA police horse line dancing on Bourbon Street. Hey -- this is Louisiana. We all can get down, if the situation calls for it.
MAR 6 Here's some more new info on the continuing controversy at Louisiana College, this time posted on the Tennessean (so maybe this story is pretty interesting outside of Louisiana, too). The story, originally written by Town Talk reporters, tells us about a document with allegedly forged signatures which was sent to SACS, the organization which issues accreditation for southern universities and colleges. The plot thickens?
MAR 6 When one reads a story like this one on KATC about the person or persons unknown who stole a huge duck balloon, three questions come to mind. First, what kind of person steals a huge balloon used to advertise a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club? And second, how can that person drive off with a huge balloon -- and attract no attention at all? And of course, the biggie: what you gonna do with that?
MAR 6 If you're interested in how things might look in 20 or 30 years, here's a good indication. This post by a 19-year-old sophomore in the LSU Reveille is the first in a series about racism. Written by a white girl, it argues that we must discuss racism and acknowledge its existence. We can't pretend it doesn't exist anymore - because it does, she says.
MAR 6 LaPolitics is doing the math on the state's unclassified workforce, and it looks pretty good -- if you're part of it. The top 50 unclassified positions in state government are making a combined $17 million, LaPolitics reports. That's $3 million more than when Jindal took office. (It's also an average salary of $340,000 in case you're interested) What's really interesting is that a lot of these positions are related to college athletics. Huh.
MAR 6 What does Ash Wednesday in NOLA look like? Beaded trees. This Picayune story takes a look at one narrow aspect of the annual clean-up following Mardi Gras: the beads hanging from trees. It takes weeks for crews to remove the trash from the trees, the story tells us.
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