Saturday, January 15, 2005

Fiber Foes Read Law, Panic!

The level of discernible panic in the comments from the members of DULL (Delusional United Luddites of Lafayette) in this story from the Saturday Advocate is matched only by the discernible level of serenity on the part of Mayor-President Joey Durel.

Apparently, someone read the Home Rule Charter to the DULL crowd and panic ensued. It turns out that by ignoring the Charter (the governing law on local petitions for referenda), the DULL crowd has painted itself in a corner. The 15 percent of registered voters needed to get the Consolidated Government Council to call a referendum requires a lot more signatures than the DULL crowd thought. Then there is the process of getting an item placed on the Council agenda.

By the time these guys get around to getting to the Council, LUS will likely have gone to the State Bond Commission to sell the bonds that will be used to finance the fiber to the premises network buildout. At that point, a petition would be formally moot.

There's an old adage that comes to mind when reading this story:

"Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

In a blog entry at DULL HQ, the fiber foes — in what must now be considered to be an official tactic — resorted to disinformation again.

Specifically, the blog entry says that opponents of the plan were "only given three minutes" to speak against the plan.

As a person who attended the final public comment meeting of the Consolidated Government Council meeting on this issue, I can say without fear of contradiction, that the council gave opponents of the plan plenty of time to make their case for not proceeding with the project — much to the chagrin of supporters.

Their interpretation of the relative merits and capabilities of fiber and wireless infrastructure was as wrong on that night as their interpretation of the prevailing law has proven this week.

One guesses now that their only option now is to turn to preferred option of their monopolistic, closed-network advocate benefactors at BS (BellSouth) — the lawsuit. I thought free market absolutists were against frivolous lawsuits? Who said irony was dead?! Guess we could blame this on the pernicious influence of their monopolist partners. Proof yet again (as if it was needed!) that momma was right — we should be careful how we choose our friends.

Is ignorance of the law recognized the basis for a legal remedy? We may well find out.

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