For the second week running, the Lafayette City-Parish Council went into executive session to discuss its next move in an ongoing war of wits with the city of Broussard over annexations in south Lafayette Parish, mostly along the recently opened Ambassador Caffery South extension. The executive session was called to allow council members and Lafayette Consolidated Government’s legal department to discuss a lawsuit filed by Broussard in state district court accusing LCG of failing to follow state public notice laws when it annexed almost 275 acres that include Les Vieux Chenes Golf Course on April 26.
To counter Broussard’s lawsuit, the CPC voted Tuesday to rescind the April 26 ordinance and to revote on it, both of which were unanimously approved. Lafayette’s rescindment of the original annexation is likely to void Broussard’s lawsuit. It remains to be seen whether Broussard will file a second suit challenging the annexation, although it’s unlikely Lafayette’s adherence to the public notice law could again be assailed since notice of Tuesday's final vote was published at least 10 days ago.
At the request of the Durel administration, the council also voted to table for a week a final vote on annexing an additional 220 acres north and south of the Ambassador extension west of Vivian Drive and east of La Neuville that includes Plantation Oaks subdivision. That annexation was also up for final adoption Tuesday night. However, the Broussard City Council on Monday voted to annex a 50’ x 50’ square of land within the bounds of the Plantation Oaks annexation.
Consequently, the LCG ordinance was amended Tuesday to exclude the Broussard property. In what may be an acknowledgement of Broussard’s newfound litigiousness (Broussard also filed a lawsuit against Youngsville over a disputed annexation), LCG published notice of the June 8 final vote of the Plantation Oaks annexation on Friday, May 28, in The Daily Advertiser, an indication that the administration intended as long ago as last week to table the ordinance, amend it and put it on hold for a week.
MAY 21 Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos writes about the Mother's Day shooting, and how the stages of shock and blame and healing mirror those traveled by the same city following Hurricane Katrina. The city will recover, just as it did following the storm, by reaching out to help the people injured most seriously by the event, DuBos writes. It's how we heal, he says.
MAY 21 Here's a post on the Advocate (but buried on a subpage, not on the front) that reports something Louisiana Voice reported some time ago: a top DOE official lives in Los Angeles and "commutes" to Baton Rouge. The positioning of the story caused a stir on Facebook Monday, with several posters asking if the Advocate was covering someone's hiney. Sentell's stories on DOE are notoriously soft, and this one is no different: don't expect any hard questions in here.
MAY 21 Here's another post from blogger Tom Aswell about the "course choice" program. He's already reported on kids being signed up without their consent or knowledge, and has more here: For example, he tells of a six-year-old who was signed up for high school Latin. He also digs a little deeper into the sister companies of the main one operating in Louisiana; all of them seem to have complaints against them. Stinky.
MAY 21 Given the 80 percent cut in higher ed funding since he's been in office, it's clear Gov. Jindal would rather give tax cuts to out of state companies than have a functioning system, blogger Dayne Sherman argues in this post. The cuts have been such a disaster, Sherman says, that it will take 30 years to fix what's been broken. He says he believes the aim is to shut down most of the schools before Jindal leaves in 2016.
MAY 21 Blogger CB Forgotston says there are too many elections in Louisiana, and they're costing us too much money. The proof is in the pudding: turnout for most of these nonsensical pollings gets worse and worse, CB opines, even as millions of dollars that could be spent on health care or higher ed go down the tubes. The legislature must take action to stem the tide of pointless elections, he says.
MAY 21 Here's an interesting investigative piece by WVUE on the retirement benefits of some Jefferson Parish public employees. According to the story, the taxpayers are paying 100 percent of the retirement contributions of employees who started work prior to a certain date in April 1986 -- and have done for more than 30 years. It costs the parish millions annually, and might not be legal, the story reports.
MAY 21 This post on Bayou Buzz provides insight from Louisiana's intrepid pollster, Bernie Pinsonat, on the winners and losers from this year's legislative session. But to hear Bernie tell it, there's almost nuttin but losers: Jindal, the Republican party, the Fiscal Hawks all get big goose eggs in his win column.
MAY 20 This post on The Lens takes a look at a huge (either $500K or $250K) bill that one NOLA charter now has for school lunches. The RSD says the charter group didn't fill out the proper paperwork for federal reimbursement, but the story details how the RSD didn't ensure the people running the charter had the proper training, despite requests from hapless charter employees trying to fill out forms. Either way, somebody's asleep at the wheel.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.