Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator says that while he’s disappointed in a Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruling upholding a private company’s standing as a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Youngsville’s annexation of more than 50 acres along the new Ambassador Caffery extension, he’s reasonably confident his city will prevail when the case goes to trail. And the mayor, who won reelection last weekend, says he hopes the case will proceed to trial quickly so Youngsville can begin preparing the annexed land for its future as a sales tax-generating commercial corridor, as well as proceed with more land acquisitions.
“I’m going to push the issue to get it done as quickly as possible,” Viator says. “It’s holding up other annexations that I want to do in the area, and it’s holding up plans to bring in services to these areas that are new annexed areas; I can’t do any planning until this is settled.”
The suit attempting to block the annexation was filed by Bridges-Carpenter Properties, a limited liability company that owns some of the land annexed by Youngsville; the neighboring city of Broussard also signed onto the suit. Last summer, District Judge John Trahan ruled that Bridges-Carpenter had standing to challenge the annexation. Youngsville appeal to the Third Circuit, arguing that only individuals can file suits against annexations, but the appeals court disagreed, sending the suit back to the 15th Judical District in Lafayette for trial.
According to the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, no trail date in Bridges-Carpenter, LLC versus City of Youngsville has been set.
In an email, George Knox, attorney for Youngsville, says he believes the city will prevail at trial:
The city of Youngsville is confident that when this matter proceeds to trial in front of Judge Trahan, he will ultimately determine that the City of Youngsville was 100 percent in compliance with the annexation statute when it annexed this strip of land along Ambassador Caffery Extension, and that we, in fact, obtained the written assent of a majority of the registered voters and a majority of the resident property owners, as well as 25 percent in value of the resident property owners as evidenced by the certificates which the city of Youngsville obtained from the Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor’s Office and the Registrar Of Voter’s Office. All of this was done by the city of Youngsville in accordance with the provisions of the annexation statute found in La. R.S. 33:172.
MAY 23 Here's a story in the Picayune about some statistics that must come as a blow to folks who believe that any private school can do a better job of educating kids than any public school: Danielle Dreilinger reports that only 30 percent of the voucher kids are passing. That's less than half of the state wide average, she says. It's an interesting statistic because most of the schools (if not all) taking voucher kids have never had their students' standardized test scores released to the public before.
MAY 23 Stephen Sabludowsky blogs on Bayou Buzz about auditor requests here. Recently the state GOP started crowing about a request from the Legislative Auditor, claiming they were being targeted because of their anti-tax stance. (Uh, your what?) Denial and hyperbole aside, the state Democratic party blew holes in that theory with an email announcing they'd received the same request, Sabludowsky writes here.
MAY 23 Jim Brown blogs about the senate race in this post. He says that, given Bobby Jindal's "lack of traction" on the national stage, it might make more sense for the governor to consider running against Mary Landrieu for the senate seat. Since Tim Teeple left the Cassidy team, it makes sense he might land on a Jindal for Senate team, Brown opines.
MAY 23 In this Louisiana Voice post, blogger Tom Aswell writes of rumors that his nemesis, state Superintendent of Education John White, may be soon departing Louisiana for a federal post. It's hard to believe, given his performance, Aswell says, but stranger things have happened. An anti-White BESE member says that, if true, White is quitting before he can be fired.
MAY 23 In this post on American Zombie, blogger Jason Berry writes about the Mother's Day shooting. Mayor Landrieu said that "this is not who we are," but the fact is, this is New Orleans, Berry writes. The violence infused in the city is the result of a culture created by "sins of omission or sins of commission," Berry writes. It's not a problem that can be solved by legislating, policing, praying or publicizing, he says: Someone's got to understand what's happening first.
MAY 23 This post in the Westside Journal tells us what Port Allen Mayor Deedy has been up to lately: vetoing ordinances, apparently. This story is most interesting, however, when it delves into a petition that has been circulating around the city lately. It accuses the former mayor of a lot of nasty things; the former mayor says it is full of lies and "broken syntax" which may be a larger offense in his eyes.
MAY 23 This editorial posted in The Advocate is a bit confusing. The writing is poor - definitely not up to the usual editorial writing standard there - and the point is hard to grasp. Apparently, the writer is saying that privatization of state efforts is OK, as long as there is oversight and transparency, but Jindal's not good at that, and the legislature shouldn't over-react. Okey Dokey. Can't they get one of them Pulitzer-winning people to write an editorial?
MAY 23 This post on The Lens gives you links to a new Google Earth tool that allows you to see any spot on earth transform over the past 30 years. Bob Marshall, who covers the coast for the paper, says that in the case of Louisiana's coastline, it's possibly something you don't want to see, because it's not a pretty picture. There are several clips here, showing critical areas erode away. For Marshall, it was vindication for all those times he was met with eye-rolling when he talked about erosion.
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.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.