Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Roundup of referendum news

KLFY: Fiber Plan to be Voted on by Residents (thin)
KATC: LUS Fiber Plan Headed for July Vote (with video)
The Advertiser: City ready to put fiber to the vote
The Advocate: Officials urge fiber-optic vote

Everyone has a story, nobody has much news. That's the nature of the story. Nothing happened today. Everything will happen late.

The only thing that happened last night was that the administration recommended that the city take the matter to a vote -- and not pursue an appeal.

The latter is the only surprise of the day. With this decision, the city abandons an issue that confuses, pretty radically, state bond law in a way that has large consequences for every municipality and local governing body in the state. With Hebert's ruling, the concept of "controlling law" in regard to bonds goes out the window and has to leave bond issuers with a lot of new uncertainty. And uncertainty in the bond market translates directly into expense. Before, it was assumed that the bond law used contolled the legal procedures used. Now it becomes an open question as to just which of dozens of laws need to be considered. Regardless of the politics of the matter—and it's not hard to see what the political calculation might be—Hebert's ruling is at best confusing and at worst dangerous. Somewhat ironically, the decision functions to establish new law in the "best" tradition of an activist judiciary. It should be appealed as a matter of principle.

Both dailies lay out the process that will be necessary to get us to a vote on July 16th. Go take a look; it's worth a slow read. And find a citizens' group and a PAC (or several) to your taste and begin the necessary work to secure our community's future.

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