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.
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DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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