Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Last night's Council meeting

The story at the City-Parish Council meeting last night was not fiber, as reading both the Advocate and the Advertiser's coverage will show. I watched on AOC. It was every bit as ugly as the articles indicate.

But there was some fiber news. The Advertiser doesn't mention it but the Advocate does. KATC actually has the fullest coverage. The news is: no news. The council deferred action on the ordinance that would have moved Lafayette one step closer to building its fiber-to-the-home network. That in itself isn't news. The city-parish couldn't have passed the ordinance since it is currently under the legal cloud of Judge Hebert's ruling. What did happen was that the council left its chambers at the beginning of its 5:30 meeting and went behind closed doors for about an hour to discuss the matter with its legal eagles. The only clue we have as to what was discussed or not discussed was the deferral of the ordinance.

Does that mean that the lawyers presented an unclear set of options? Probably. That is what lawyers do. Does it mean the city-parish is uncertain about its course? Don't know. Does it mean there was division on the council about how to proceed? Don't know. Is some lightening strike being planned? Don't know.

We do know that the decision has to come soon. An appeal, if any, must be made by next week.

The alternatives? 1) An expedited appeal that might settle the issue by mid-April at the State Supreme Court. 2) An expedited vote in which the city cuts through the red tape and goes for a vote at the earliest possible date. 3) Accepting Hebert's ruling, waiting for the petition to make its rounds again and voting then in the likely case of its success. (BellSouth and Cox will put it in their employees' hands again if it looks like it isn't going to make the cut--just as BellSouth did last time. This is their best chance. They can't afford to let it fail and will do what is necessary regardless of how it looks.)

The order of that listing is also the order of my preferences. All we can do is wait.

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