NOLA Rebuilding Plan: Decadent Bureaucracy

New Orleans eminent domainNew Orleans’s recovery commission is catching a lot of well-deserved flak for their plans to rebuild the destroyed and damaged neighborhoods using eminent domain, throwing federal grant money towards a superfluous light-rail system and — as we’ve covered before — free WiFi. The Boston Globe reports:

Angry homeowners screamed and City Council members seethed yesterday as this city’s recovery commission recommended imposing a four-month building moratorium on most of New Orleans and creating a powerful new authority that could use eminent domain to seize homes in neighborhoods that will not be rebuilt.

[…] Some activists have long accused the commission — which was appointed by Nagin — of trying to find ways to abandon predominantly black neighborhoods, such as the Lower Ninth Ward. Yesterday’s unveiling did nothing to assuage their fears, even though commission members promised to give all neighborhoods an opportunity to prove that they should be rebuilt by convening planning groups in coming months.

The proposed moratorium would be in the city’s most damaged neighborhoods, and officials would use the four-month period to gauge whether enough residents will come back to make the areas viable.

In typical two-faced politico style, mayor Ray Nagin was suddenly on the side of the residents:

Within minutes of the plan’s unveiling, Nagin was already showing signs that he might back away from the commission’s most controversial proposal. He told WWL-AM that he had some ”hesitancy” about the building moratorium.

In lieu of my own snarky commentary, I’ll defer to David Masten over at Catallarchy who had a novel proposal for the whole thing:

Since it is has been decided that there will be a huge plan to rebuild New Orleans, I would recommend a small addition. This addition will properly convey the essence of this newly rebuilt city and gives proper credit to those who have gone before in such planning. Change the city’s name to New Leningrad.

5 Comments
  1. Why rebuild any of the area in the flood zone? Who’s to say the levees won’t leak or even collapse again? I say bulldoze the entire area that flooded and establish an urban forest. Move neighborhoods to higher ground since the entire area must be rebuilt. Makes sense to me.

    Seems to me the early settlers knew something the Johnny Come Lately’s don’t know – do not build structures below sea level or you will be sorry. Did we not all notice the original city, i.e the French Quarter, did not flood? I wonder why?

    I wonder how much taxpayers will ultimately have to pay to the skimming politicos that is sure to occur? Louisiana, particularly the New Orleans area, has been known for political corruption gone wild even before Huey Long & Company. This is well documented, not guess work or speculation.

  2. Yes, Louisiana has a history of corruption. I should know, I’m living and blogging in New Orleans. But what does that have to do with federal projects to build and maintain hurricane protection levees?

    American needs New Orleans, and New Orleans needs substantial hurricane protection. Please.

    Peace,
    Tim

  3. Steve G, this post’s for you:

    The unbeatably unasinous team of Nagin and Blanco (ephemeromorphic twins if ever there were a pair) will have this all sorted out is short order–with as little freedom or property rights surviving as possible.

  4. In DC they are opposed to the so-called Baker Plan. There is no way they will make people whole if they did not have flood insurance. Mississippi will be calling the shots on this deal as Congress feels LA is too greedy. The trailers and the Dutch trip really put everybody off. There is absolutely no chance that LA will get the money to do the home buy out. Just stall and stall, never say no. Time will take care of the politics necessary to make New Orleans a white republican city.