Durel Responds ‘Broussard Governing By Press Release’
The ongoing feud between the city of Broussard and the city of Lafayette has reached a fever pitch as leaders from both towns have begun making confrontational statements in the press.
Thursday, Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel made comments regarding the city of Lafayette’s decision to discontinue the 911 dispatch service for the city of Broussard that Lafayette had been providing. Those comments prompted Gerald deLaunay, the attorney for the city of Broussard, to issue a strongly worded response.
Friday afternoon, Joey Durel responded to deLaunay’s comments in an email to KPEL 96.5.
From Joey Durel verbatim,
I would normally not respond to such ludicrous comments, but these are so distorted that it is clear that either this person lacks any understanding of the difference between “city” government and “parish” government, or he is simply not interested in truth. The government of Broussard has decided to govern by press release, which is a complete diservice to the people of Broussard. The decision to give up using our city firemen to do dispatching for the fire department in Broussard is strictly the decision of the leadership of Broussard. We have given them the choice of dropping the annexation lawsuit and keeping the services Lafayette has always provided for free. They have made the decision that the lawsuit to prevent Lafayette from annexing its own city paid-for golf course, is more important than the services the city provides. This is amazing to me, and should cause an outrage to the people of Broussard!
Let me stress right now, that the city of Lafayette government has never taken an aggressive action towards the city government of Broussard. Lafayette has only been a good neighbor, providing services that would cost Broussard much more money to provide to its citizens. Yet, we now find ourselves defending ridiculous lawsuits brought by Broussard’s leadership. This is something I guess I will never understand. There is no doubt that Broussard is what it is today, in large part, because of Lafayette. What we have gotten in return for being a good neighbor is hostility from the government of Broussard. No one would tolerate that kind of relationship. We want to continue to grow Broussard by providing services, just as we do for every other city in the parish.
Please don’t anyone think this is about public safety, even the leadership of Broussard knows better. If they sincerely thought that this was going to risk public safety, and let this happen, it would be sinful to say the least, maybe worse. Fire dispatch will still take place, the government of Broussard has a responsibility to see to that. And, 911 will still be available. The only issue is that city of Lafayette firemen will not take those calls, someone else will. That fact is what affects insurance ratings, and I am told will cause insurance rates on homes and business to go up, maybe double.
The lawyer from Broussard must think very little of the intellect of the people of Broussard. He has been completely misleading in many of his statements, but because of pending litigation, I will not address them, the courts will. The risk of losing services from the city of Lafayette is not about the water lawsuit. In many ways, I want that lawsuit to take place, because the law and mathematics will determine the truth. The actions of myself and the LCG Council are much more about wanting a reciprocal relationship. We ask nothing from Broussard, it has nothing really to offer. All we want is a good neighbor, one that appreciates what we do for it. Is that too much to ask? We sincerely want as good a relationship with the government of Broussard as we have with every other government in the parish.
I make this offer to the leadership of Broussard: Drop your lawsuit against our annexation, and all services will be restored immediately. Immediately! I will also agree to immediate mediation on the water lawsuit. I believe that we can resolve it very quick. I do not believe that our request is unreasonable in any way whatsoever.
So, the choice is up to the leadership of Broussard. Is the annexation lawsuit more important to the people of Broussard, or are the services they get from the city of Lafayette more important. Once again, I beg you to put the people first, and await your decision. (emphasis Durel’s)