Ok, I know it's a little bit of a strange complaint coming from me since I seem to think that the fiber plan is the most interesting thing going on in Lafayette these days. So it's a little odd that I am made uncomfortable when fiber news is given headline status on the front page of the Advertiser for the first time in a long while.
Maybe giving you a little visual aid as to how that headline looked will help:
Council rejects Fiber 411 plan
Huval: LUS project nearing the point of no return
The introductory paragraph presents what sounded to me—and I was there listening closely—like a pretty hastily assembled, 'look what we did today' (oh, no, we haven't yet called Cox) sort of suggestion as THE story of the night. Granted, it was the most dramatic moment of the fiber evening and I think (as noted in a earlier post on how the issue was handled in other media outlets) that the suggestion was generally given too much credence in all the media. But this is a bit over the top. For one thing, I didn't hear and after reading the article still didn't see anyone 'rejecting' the suggestion. Surely the council was cool toward the petition and the petitioners and surely they made clear their doubt about any compromise offered by folks who just the day before had decided to sue them. Since Fiber411 has nothing to give up in this "compromise" and is suggesting only things that others could do to further their declared goals, some real doubt is justified. Our elected officials are as good politicians as any--and the self-serving part of Fiber411's suggestion is obvious to any well-schooled politician who has learned to be wary of "compromises" offered by supplicants who offer other peoples' advantages in trade for what they want without giving up anything of their own in the compromise. The phenomena is instantly recognizeable by anyone who has been involved with neighborhood organizations.
If the placement and emphasis seemed a mite sensationalistic, what made it even more surprising was that the Verot School/Ambassador Caffery road building conflict didn't make the front page at all--and I can tell you that this issue is why the real crowd was there last night. We had three mayors contending, a lot of public comment and interest, and a very uncomfortable and extended line of questioning for administration employees. Several members of the council stopped just short of saying this was a manufactured crisis. In terms of interest and passion, the fiber story was not the story of the night. Maybe it should have been--I tend to think so, given my interests--but traffic and roads were clearly the chief focus of the majority of the council and the citizenry at the meeting.
I'm not at all sure how the Advertiser editorial staff is thinking about all this....