Saturday, July 09, 2005

An Unlikely Pairing: Business Plan Over Breakfast

From the "Briefings" section of today's newspaper.
CODA to host fiber discussion Tuesday

The Lafayette Utilities System fiber-to-the-home and business proposal will be the topic of discussion at Tuesday's Citizens of Direct Action meeting.

Bill Fenstermaker will speak in favor of the project and Neal Breakfield, of anti-fiber citizens group Fiber 411, will speak against the project.

The meeting is from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Tuesday at Oakbourne Country Club, 3700 E. Simcoe St. The public is invited. Cost of the breakfast buffet is $7.
Fenstermaker is the CEO of C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates and a long-term fiber supporter. Neal Breakfield is one of the principals of Fiber 411 and works for Halliburton.

I've long thought this is one of the discussions that has to be had. We've had a lot of folks tossing about claims concerning LUS' business plan. While I am not hesitant to say it looks sound to me, I am well aware that save for a stint as a partner in a small construction company my judgment doesn't have much in the way of bona fides to recommend it. Fenstermaker is one of the region's premier businessmen. He will be able to respond with authority to charges that the business plan is not sound.


GumboFilé said...

It's refreshing to see you concede a point regarding your judgement.

David Hays

John said...

David Hays of Grand Coteau,

I often have concerns about my judgment. And I am fairly ruthless in trying to be aware of what influences it.

The problem is that I am not conceding a point in regard to my judgment in this particular instance. I am, were you to read carefully, conceding only that my judgment (in which I carefully reiterate my personal confidence) does not come with the bona fides to match those of the CEO of a major corporation.

This small incident nicely illustrates the general problem with the "analyses" produced by the anti-fiber side. They find in what they read only what they want to hear... what satisfies the emotional or ideological preunderstanding that they brought to their reading in the first place. The trouble with this sort of reading is that it makes it difficult to learn anything just continue to read into your texts what you already knew.

David Hays "knows" my judgment is poor so it satisfies to "read" my words as admitting it in this instance. The trouble is that this is denying him the ability to read what is actually in the text.

So for the benefit of the reader I will make the actual rhetorical point directly rather than subtly. My comparatively minor though successful business experience does not produce the "bona fides" to give me much credibility vis a vis Fenstermaker when the topic is a multi-million dollar business plan. What the discerning reader might conclude is that neither does Neal Breakfields' rather spotty record in that regard. I was trying to point out this difference indirectly and was willing to take a mild hit on my own "image" to avoid directly inferring that Neal doesn't have the bona fides to be a credible opponent to Fenstemaker on this issue.

This incident me that such subtlety is lost on a certain subset of my readership. Hence the clarification.

GumboFilé said...

I was trying to pay you a light-hearted compliment, back-handed though it may be. I guess I was wrong. You do have all the answers.

David Hays
Grand Coteau, Louisiana

Larry Amy said...

First of all, I don't think Fenstermaker and Associates would be considered a major coporation. Second, giving credit where due, Fenstermaker took over a family business, so there is a long jump from creating a business to sustaining/growing one. Third, LUS has a feasability study, not a business plan. There is a big difference, one area being the study of risks. Fourth, it doesn't take a company CEO to take a common sense look at numbers and supporting data (or lack of) and Neil has an abundance of common sense, regardless of his career or background.

Larry Amy

Jon Fitzgerald said...

More disinformation from the Anti fiber obstructionists.

Anonymous said...

More "no information" from the profiber side. If you have nothing intelligent to say then don't respond. What do you consider disinformation in Mr. Amy's post?

GumboFilé said...

John, et al,

His business bona fides notwithstanding, I was unimpressed with Mr Fenstermaker. Why he was chosen to speak instead of one of y'all I have no idea.

I had intended to introduce myself to y'all afterward but wasn't aware that it was going to run into overtime. I should've known better. I should've spoken to you beforehand.