Gulf Coast reconstruction czar Donald Powell got a lukewarm reception on Wednesday from a group of Louisiana bankers who challenged the former bank regulator on the speed of recovery and the true amount of federal dollars being devoted to the effort.Bankers aren't the only ones not happy with the federal government's response to the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. Most of south Louisiana is probably ready to secede from the Union if President Bush doesn't live up to his promise to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
But Powell offered little fresh insight into the federal government's plans for south Louisiana, insisting that local decisions must guide the rebuilding effort but that Washington remains a committed partner.So now is the time for local residents to direct a lot of the pressure on our own politicians. As the second special session of the Louisian Legislature convenes, crucial issues that will determine the level of response from the federal government are being met with stiff resistance.
State Sen. Walter Boasso's, R-Arabi, bill to consolidate the various levee boards faces multiple obstacles as well as other proposals to consolidate New Orleans government.
These changes need to be made regardless of Washington's wishes and it's a shame that it takes that kind of prodding to make it happen. If change does happen, I expect President Bush to live up to his word and help us rebuild as he promised. Otherwise he'll be referred to as being all hat and no cattle around these parts. If change does not happen, Louisiana politicians will be known as dead men walking.