Both the Advocate in “C-P council approves LUS report” and the Advertiser in “Council takes step toward fiber vote,” cover last night’s unanimous vote to approve R. W. Beck’s feasibility and engineering study. Approval of such a study is one of the required steps on the way to a projected July 16th vote on the fiber issue.
For the first time Bobby Badeaux, representing the mostly rural northwest edge of the parish, joined the for vote, making approval unanimous. According to the Advocate: “Badeaux said that now that the issue will be taken to a vote, he feels the best thing for him to do is let his constituents decide.” While Badeaux’s vote is welcome, that rationale is odd. Odd because, in fact, Badeaux’s constituents will not decide. The referendum vote will be a city vote and Badeaux’s district is not in the city. It’s a little hard not to believe that Badeaux doesn’t know this. In the past his vote has seemed a mixture of “what’s in it for me” (his constituents, not being in the city, wouldn’t have been slated to immediately benefit) and resentment. Much of that resentment seemed to center around the rejection of his (profoundly mistaken) idea that mailing postcards to every citizen and requesting they return their opinions would result in a more accurate reflection of public demand for LUS’ proposed services than the scientific poll LUS actually ran. So why change now? With big bandwidth slated to run to every school in the parish over LUS fiber (including the middle school of which coach is principal), maybe its benefits don’t seem so much for other people any more. Or perhaps he’s begun to hear the arguments that the plan would help develop an economy that would keep his middle school students in Lafayette when they graduate from school. Or maybe it’s just as simple as Lafayette is coming together over this plan to take the future into our own hands.
Both stories cover Kaliste Saloom III’s presentation in support of LUS for the PAC Lafayette Yes! From the Advocate:
He said a “robust” fiber-optic infrastructure and Lafayette’s culture could help develop a cluster of technology-based industry, with higher paying jobs that keep people from leaving the city or state for better opportunities.
“Do we say ‘yes’ to our future, or do we simply sit back and wait for large, out-of-state companies to tell us what to do and when to do it?” Saloom said.
The Advocate also carries some photos, one of a Lafayette Coming Together meeting (which is reproduced online) and a photo of father and son wearing profiber T-shirts that I thought was great (you’ll have to find the paper).