My impression is that most New Orleanians are realistic about our recovery. We know recovery funds are limited. We acknowledge New Orleans had serious problems before the Federal Flood that continue to dog us and complicate recovery efforts. We don’t all expect to live in pretty pink (and green) houses assembled by Brad Pitt.
But it seems our decision makers disdain us for not cheerily skipping along as they bungle up our city. I get the feeling the exact same players who connived to blow up the levees in St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes in 1927 are still running our city. If not the same players, certainly the same roles are being assumed, and you don’t have to look hard to see the evidence of their handiwork:
- Charity Hospital. I think most New Orleanians would be pleased to have Charity return to its former building. Damage was minimal, but the LSU Medical Center has been hot for a new hospital complex for years and it’s doing all it can to avoid going back.
- The VA hospital. Why not transform the Lindy Boggs Hospital campus into the VA hospital?
- New Orleans public schools. 52 of 125 campuses will be sold or “repurposed.” Twenty eight schools will see construction. New Orleanians would like to have neighborhood schools. New Orleanians would like to save a little money. The Schools Facilities Master Plan is the green dot wiping out whole neighborhoods all over again–but without the courtesy of the green.
Note to the rest of the world:
The people of New Orleans would like to save a little money and have its old Charity back. We could take those savings and carefully apply them elsewhere, thank you very much.
Our veterans want a hospital–as quickly as possible. Utilizing the existing Lindy Boggs medical facility for the VA would be a boost for one of our vital neighborhoods and would also more quickly provide services to our army veterans. Any savings accrued here could be applied elsewhere.
Our school landscape is nothing short of insane. We see that. There’s a lot of flim-flam going on with charter schools on top of this “demolition depression,” to borrow e’s description (linked above), of a master plan that’s getting foisted upon us. We know huge sums of money available to our schools now will not be available in a couple years. We want to make the best use of the money we have by rehabilitating the buildings that we can, as well as not walking away from schools in struggling neighborhoods (though projected to see roughly the same rate of population growth as the rest of the city).