Gambit Weekly has an interesting article recounting the history of the various levee boards that makes south-east Louisiana look like a Picasso painting.
The article appears to give creadence to the levee districts status-quo in order to ensure that areas with less political clout can provide protection themselves rather than be left without protection.
While that process probably has some merit, our legislators should be able to come up with a scenario where flood protection is done holistically rather than ad-hoc yet still allow communities to provide for their own protection if they feel the regional levee board is leaving them high-and-dry (pun intended)
My idea is to have a regional board headed by flood professionals and engineers to be appointed by both the governor and officials of the various parishes within the levee region. In addition, an advisory board that has oversight but no power, whose member could either be appointed or elected, that will look out for the interests of their consituents.
In addition, the law could be written to allow for local levee districts to exist for the purpose of augmenting, if necessary, local flood control. The local districts can levy their own taxes and/or lobby the federal government for funds for flood control.
Flood control should be left to the professionals but politics should not be totally left out of the equasion as that is the method in this country whereby citizens are allowed to make their case before the government.