As I've had several letters published regarding Lafayette Utilities Systems' Fiber to the Home, I'd like readers to know that I have no relationship with BellSouth or Cox. I'm not even a customer. I was raised in Lafayette, and I am a minority partner in a family business located in Lafayette; however, I represent no one but myself.
As LUS FTTH would significantly enlarge LUS and Lafayette Consolidated Government, and put LUS customers and LCG taxpayers at risk, I believe that the burden is on LCG to show why voters should vote in favor of the LUS bonds. The circumstances that might justify anything like this are few and far between. I have considered the reasons that proponents have given, and in my opinion they fall short.
The only justification that really makes any sense is the LCG revenue that could be generated by the in lieu tax (ILT). The ILT is equivalent to a sales tax. It's a cash cow for LCG. For them this makes perfect sense. Even if the telecom utility loses money, LCG can still collect up to 12 percent ILT on top of every LUS telecom utility bill. If you think LCG is not big enough and should be bigger, here's your justification. Otherwise none of the reasons given by LUS FTTH proponents, alone or combined, justifies LUS competing against existing business, unless you accept, a priori, that this is an acceptable practice, in which case you really need no other reason.
There are many more reasons to oppose LUS FTTH. For those who remain undecided or unconvinced, please read them at http://gumbofile.blogspot.com/2005/06/my-reasons.html.
Ultimately, I oppose LUS FTTH, because the end doesn't justify the means. In the final analysis this is just one more misguided government program. I urge voters to vote no to the LUS bonds on July 16, and I urge LUS and LCG to ditch this mission and return their focus to their core missions, which some might say have been neglected.