People Get Ready

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Do we really need two mayors?

Posted by schroeder915 on December 4, 2006

And do we really need two “recovery czars”? Anyone remember Donald Powell, Bush’s appointed “recovery czar”?

Choice quotes from the Associated Press story on Nagin’s appointment of a hurricane recovery czar:

The city has made strides, Nagin said. “I just need somebody to take me to the next level.” …


“We think he’s the best in the world to help us through this recovery,” Nagin said during a news conference called to announce Blakely’s appointment. …


Nagin had said in a recent interview a recovery director previously didn’t make sense because “I couldn’t really communicate to the person their authority, how the money was flowing, how (the recovery) would be set up. All that clarity is in place (now).”

Clarity? Really? Maybe now that we have a competent surrogate mayor to guide the recovery to the next level, he’ll enlighten us with that newfound clarity.

And maybe now we can also free Ray Nagin from the burden of toiling for that “big government salary” he complains about.

By the way, I wholeheartedly support the appointment of a manager to oversee New Orleans’ recovery. I just wonder about the competence and visibility of Donald Powell and Ray Nagin.


5 Responses to “Do we really need two mayors?”

  1. MAD said

    Blakely started off on the wrong foot by refusing to answer a perfectly valid question from the press and then criticizing the questioner. I hate to jump to such quick conclusions, but this guy appears to be a fish out of water, his apparent “qualifications” notwithstanding.

  2. Good call. I missed that, but I’ll pay attention. He might just be an angry SOB, but he’ll have to put on a prettier face — or have someone nicer represent him — for the recovery to work.

  3. F P said

    This guys seems to create a need for himself. To me that is too much like a government contractor… never realy doing or completeing the Job so that we continue to have a need for him. We should be able to partner with universities to get a lot of free community help. But then that would allow for too much transparency.

  4. Do we even know what his function will be? Is he going to be a decision maker or adviser? If he’s doing anything with real authority that involves his urban planning background, what’s UNOP been about? If he’s going to be a combination chief of staff/viceroy coordinating the activities of different city agencies and between the city, state, federal, other local governments and the private sector, then I don’t think an academic was the right man for the job.

    My feeling is that most of the advisers that have been brought in have mainly been brought to provide political cover, like the expensive advisers that the RTA brought in. I suspect this will be the same. Or it could be a way of concentrating more power in the mayor’s office; if the council nd city agencies defer to the mayor’s recovery czar, it’s more power for the mayor. That’s something I don’t want to see ntil accountabilty is more than the name of matrix. It obvious that Blakely wasn’t brought in to open up the system.

  5. F P said

    I read some stuff about him that seems hopefull. Coming from california he should be pretty progressive when it comes to the Environment. New Orleans does need his help. I hope he can get some traction. Maybe we can fight Nagin by backing this guy and giving him support when it counts?
    I hear you though, I am concerned anytime somebody is hired to consult. In a lot of cases it is just another layer between us and transparency.

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