People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Ron Forman’s New Orleans Atlanta

Posted by schroeder915 on February 16, 2006

So, you don’t believe me when I say you shouldn’t support Ron Forman for mayor because he doesn’t allow public input into the decision-making process, because his goals and accomplishments are completely antithetical to the mission he is supposed to be fulfilling at the Audubon Institute, because he’s hiding monkey skulls in his closet?

Don’t take my word for it. Read this Save Audubon Park account of the Audubon Commission vote on plans for a new clubhouse, which contains the following remarks:

  • “After two years of planning, the constructive input of the public was admitted only one week previously.”
  • John Charles Olmsted described “large buildings in the park as being ‘utterly inappropriate, ruinous, not germane to the nature of Audubon Park.’ He asked the Audubon Commission to reconsider the concept of building such a large clubhouse anywhere inside the park itself, and noted that the golf course plan as a whole, and the intrusiveness of the clubhouse in particular as contributing to the ‘privatization of the park.'”
  • Stephanie Bruno, of the Preservation Resource Center, “read a resolution of that board that expressed their grave concern with the lack of opportunity for public input in the deliberative process.”

    “Speaking on her own behalf, she noted that ‘some people’, believe that New Orleans is dying, and that it has been overtaken by Atlanta.”

  • “As Vernon Palmer, Professor at Tulane Law School, rose to speak, Willard Dumas of the Audubon Commission declared that at 30 minutes, the time for public input was up and that ‘we have heard all the comments we are going to hear.'” …

    He described the way in which various plans presented two years ago were superseded over time by others, that ‘every day there is a change to the plan,’ that ‘Mr Stastny had changed the plan before our very eye,’ and ultimately that the entire process was ‘a parade of ad hocs by Mr. Forman, a parade of extemporizations by Dale Stastny, presented to the ad nauseam of the public….’ The result, he said, was ‘not rational public planning. It resembles an improvised talk show.’

    He also noted that the project was ‘riven with illegalities’ and challenged the Audubon Institute to have their own lawyers examine their procedures. He urged the Commission to not approve the plan until it receives a clean bill of legality.”

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7 Responses to “Ron Forman’s New Orleans Atlanta”

  1. I’ve got my problems with the institute, not as deep as yours, but along the same lines.

    But the main problem with Forman for mayor is that it’s based on the false premise that he turned the zoo around (e.g. Dubos’ column in Gambit). Sounds impressive–any New Orleanian over about 40 can remember what a disgrace it was. BUT by the time he became zoo director in 77, the turnaround was pretty much complete. He didn’t even start as asst. director til 73. I don’t believe he was the asst. who was the real brains, he had no zoo experience. Once the 1972 referendum was passed it was smooth sailing. There’s a big difference in being able to run an organization that’s already been turned around and in being able to turn around a problem situation.

  2. Schroeder said

    Good point. I haven’t been here that long, so I don’t know much about it. There seems to be a blackout in the press about Forman’s record, although plenty of criticism for other candidates — so thanks for bringing it up.

    Some might argue that Forman still doesn’t know anything about running a zoo — although he sure knows how to make money (for himself).

  3. Cade Roux said

    I’m trying very hard to find a candidate deserving of my vote.

    As a frequenter and member of the zoo, it is clearly well-run, and others agree that it is one of the premier zoos in the country.

    Nagin, rode to victory on some non-existent Cox-based reputation – I know no one who actually finds dealing with any part of Cox a pleasure.

    Forman clearly has at least some good people who work for him, and he obviously gets out of their way if he has no useful skill at running it. So who is responsible for the successful day-to-day running of the Institute?

  4. he’s obviously good at running it, although some would say that it’s fallen into the trap of nonprofits acting like revenue hungry corporations. Even if the turn around was already way, it would be easy to mess uo that big an organization. In, my comment,I didn’t mean to fault him personally for other people giving him credit that should have been spread around. But in his commercial that’s come out since, he’s agressively claiming it.

  5. Anonymous said

    I have a problem with the fact that his wife had to resign from her job. Who would ask their wife to quit so that they could take out her boss? Not to mention that she was still working for the current Mayor when Forman announced. It seems to lack respect for his wife, her career and women in general. It is obvious she did not want to quit and until the day he announced, she denied he was running in the TP. It seems like the “uptown” crowd is at it again. And don’t care who gets in the way, including his wife! It is very weird, no matter what he did at the Zoo. And another point is that we don’t need headlines that read nationally, Zoo Keeper runs city now. We are already the laughing stock. SNL will have lots to work with.

  6. Anonymous said

    whats wrong with the “uptown” crowd huh?

  7. Viva NOLA said

    I understand the uptown comment and I’m an uptown girl. I take no offense. C’mon, we know what’s going on here. It’s a doggoned shame what’s going on at that zoo. It’s a circus. The first time I went back after college, I noted that it looked like fricking Jurassic Park. And to ruin the Park on top of it all. And you want to do all that to my city, too?! No THANK YOU! I knew there was something shady about the guy, I just couldn’t put a finger on it.

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