The last-minute mayor
Posted by schroeder915 on December 15, 2006
Dear Ray Ray:
When USA Today, the newspaper with the highest circulation in the country, posted a story with this headline, “Louisiana Democrat wins House runoff, despite bribery scandal,” did you have second thoughts about your endorsement of Bill Jefferson, man?
Unfortunately, man, you and Bill Jefferson continue to supply excuses to the opponents of giving New Orleans its due share of compensation for damages — yes, compensation, not aid.
How about your weak response to the USA Today Q&A a couple of weeks ago:
Q: Do you believe any of the aid money has been lost through corruption or incompetence?
Nagin: I don’t know if there is any corruption going on. I think when you spend a significant amount of money, you’re probably going to have some fraud or waste.
That wasn’t exactly an answer which would inspire confidence.
When you said, “We have the most comprehensive plan in the state. … Probably more than you want,” what the hell were you talking about, man?
I’m not talking about the Unified New Orleans Plan — that’s another piece of the puzzle which isn’t completed yet, and which you have barely raised a whisper to support. I’m talking about your plans for infrastructure projects we can get done right now — the broken sewer system, and roads, and gas lines, and yes, armoring levees if the Corps can’t get it done, and street lights, and what about fixing the schools or rebuilding them, and cleaning up public housing so people can live in there while residents and HUD sort out their differences.
What about that meeting in November with the LRA which you skipped out on because, you said, you didn’t have a list of infrastructure priorities. What?
And now, when the LRA tells you it’s only going to give you $100 million … now … now you complain, man?
So, where’s the plan, man!
What about the piggyback money in the GO Zone tax credits for private developers to submit affordable housing projects. That deadline passed in October with barely a wimper from the City Council, and not a peep from you. Hundreds of millions of dollars which will probably leave New Orleans and go to other hurricane-affected areas because you, man, you don’t have a calendar?
So you didn’t like the deadline? Well, man, demand a new deadline. It’s not as though this isn’t the “biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country”, man.
If you sit on your hands in a corner waiting for a handout, hoping you’ll get noticed, you won’t get a dime. You have to be vocal, and loud, and persistent, and you have to include other voices. You don’t have to go it alone, but hey man, give us an idea what the hell you’re thinking about!
When HUD told public housing residents, “your comments are duly noted, but we will stick with the agenda as noted,” and you said nothing, can you appreciate why we’re all feeling like you’re not on Team New Orleans?
Is the government saying and doing nothing a “market-based” approach to governance, man, or anarchy?
We’re on the same team — that’s right, man– but when you keep doing the no-show routine, and saying stupid shit, and endorsing crooked politicians, and letting important deadlines pass, what the hell are we supposed to do, man, but call you out.
If you don’t have the stomach for a fight, man, maybe you should retire.