Posted: Jun 19, 2012 5:43 PM by Erin Steuber
Updated: Jun 19, 2012 5:48 PM
Another impasse in the dispute between City-Parish President Joey Durel and Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais. And one step closer to, the Parish, cutting ties with the City of Broussard.
Last month, Durel announced he wanted to cut ties with Broussard over their "antagonistic behavior". This meant Lafayette would no longer provide animal control and fire services to the city. It also meant Lafayette would no longer allow Broussard to tap into Lafayette's water systems. In response Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais questioned the legality of Durel's actions. However, last week, as a show of good faith Durel says he'd provide funding so Broussard could continue fighting fires in the unincorporated areas. Durel also said he'll continue to work with the City of Broussar, if they agreed to drop the lawsuits they filed against Lafayette Consolidated Government. The deadline, Durel says, is Friday for Broussard's Mayor to drop the suits. But Broussard's Mayor says he isn't budging.
Last week Mayor Durel requested the City of Broussard end its lawsuit to recover more than $500,000 in overpayment to LUS for water last November. In a letter responding to Durel, Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais says the city will not budge. Langlinais says "it is both unreasonable and unfair to ask that this claim be dismissed as a condition to even trying to resolve the pending dispute."
He goes on to say he's ready and willing to resolve these issues, and submit the suit to mediation or binding arbitration.
"The one thing that cannot happen though is to completely dismiss the water issue, which is dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money," said Broussard spokesperson Amy Jones. "We need to be good fiscal representatives of the people that elected both the mayor and the city council."
But Mayor Durel stresses that Langlinais' action seem to be a PR stunt rather than a sincere attempt to solve issues.
"The elected official of Broussard needs to contact me and discuss some of this privately," said Durel. "This is not a PR game. It"s serious, serious, serious work, serious issues that we have to deal with."
Durel says he hopes Langlinais realizes the key role Lafayette plays in Broussard's continued growth. Durel is looking for a reciprocation of good faith.
"Lafayette is very important to their growth and they cannot achieve the kind of growth that they have achieved without the City of Lafayette helping them," said Durel. "I would like a show of good faith on their part that says, thank you Lafayette, and a good way to start would be to drop that lawsuit."