Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Year after vote, fiber project still stalled"

The Advertiser runs a story on the first anniversary of the fiber referendum that explores the tactics that have been used to delay the project. The most recent is the Eastin-Naquin suit.

Lawsuits challenging a fiber bond ordinance approved by the Lafayette City-Parish Council must be settled before LUS can issue up to $125 million in bonds to pay for the project, Huval said...

"Conceivably, had we not had any interruption with lawsuits, we would have issued bonds and would be well under way with design and construction of the early parts of the fiber system," said LUS Director Terry Huval.

Actually, if the incumbents had stood out of the way from the begining and decided that they'd compete instead of trying to change the rules to their advantage at every turn we'd already be using the fiber optic system LUS had planned.

The story goes over some of the obstuctionist tactics used by the incumbents --skipping over some highlights like the battle at the PSC or the ugly case of Sharon Broome's bill to fine the city in the 2005 legislature. It focuses on the most recent set of legal challenges including some interesting particulars on the current class action lawsuit:

Only one of those legal challenges can stop LUS from issuing the fiber bonds, said City-Parish Attorney Pat Ottinger. It is an appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal by Naquin and Eastin challenging the bond ordinance, he said.

Attorneys for Naquin and Eastin filed an intent to appeal. The deadline to file the full appeal and brief with the Third Circuit was Friday, Ottinger said. By early afternoon, the plaintiffs had not filed the appeal, he said.

It sure would be nice if they hadn't filled an appeal, but these lawsuits can apparently be filed by fax until midnight on the due date. So no one will know whether LUS is freed up until Monday morning when the employees return to work. I wouldn't advise you to get your hopes up.

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