Don Bertrand: LUS Fiber On Path To Financial Success, Despite Accusations To Contrary
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- LUS Fiber is doing well and is on the path to financial success, according to Lafayette City-Parish council member Don Bertrand, who joined the "Afternoon Drive Home" Thursday.
Bertrand's comments come in the wake of a turbulent Tuesday council meeting, which featured a heated back-and-forth between fellow council member William Theriot and Burton Kolder, the certified public accountant tasked with auditing Consolidated Government and the Fiber program.
"I think what was happening the other night was [Theriot] was trying to prove a negative," Bertrand said. "And there were numbers thrown out there that were not only erroneous, but they erode the confidence, not only in the community about their investment, but also the employees and the people who work for that company. So I think it's irresponsible, and we're talking about somebody who lives in a district that has probably one percent or less of the potential customers of LUS Fiber."
Bertrand currently sits as the chairman of the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority, which oversees the Fiber program. Bertrand said the program is "well exceeding" expectations, despite the hurdles the fledgling it faced at its inception.
"We're ahead of the projections for three-and-a-half years in this business," Bertrand said.
Bertrand did not begrudge Theriot's right to question the audit, but "you have to be engaged with those people if you're going to be a good representative," he said, alluding to his relationships with Consolidated Government's finance director, chief administrative officer, LUS director, and LUS Fiber director.
"You can't just use a meeting to ask all your questions," Bertrand said. "You've got to be informed ahead of time."
Bertrand is willing to give Theriot the benefit of the doubt, though, citing Theriot's relative lack of experience.
As for the future of LUS Fiber, Bertrand said the future looks bright. He recounted a tale of a visit to the Google offices in Washington, D.C.
Around the table were people from all over the country, and some pretty high-powerd media types. And all of them, to a person, wanted to have what we have...We've done something that is not only pioneering, but we've done it because it's going to help our community grow, and grow in a fashion that makes us competitive with the rest of the world.
To listen to the complete interview, click 'Play' below.