Friday, February 24, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking City?

The (SC) editorializes that the size of the city of New Orleans has to shink. What it doesn't say is how. It does recommend that certain neighborhoods should be converted back into wetland to avoid future similar flooding.

Boy howdy, do these journalists have a grasp for the obvious?

When I read the headline I was expecting some concrete recommendations on how to do it. That's like telling someone trying to invent a perpetual-motion machine to just build it. Easy to say, but when your dealing with the laws of physics, doing is much more difficult.

So to make-up for the lack of insight from The State, here are some suggestions to deal with the laws of politics.

  1. New Orleans should simply unincorporate most or all of New Orleans East. Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge has no business being inside the city limits. Those living in New Orleans East will not like being unincorporated at first, but it simply means that the parish will take over those services that the city currently provide. In other words, be more like Jefferson Parish.
  2. If you want to convert neighborhoods back to wetland, don't be impatient about deciding where they should be. Recovery will be long term so let's plan long term. City officials certainly can wait to see which area make a substantial recovery. We may find some areas with few residents. If those residents decide they don't like living in "ghosts towns", the government coud offer to buy them out. Homeowners migh be happy with this arrangement. If the government tried to force people out of their homes, they will be asking for nothing but trouble.
  3. Some City Council members will not take kindly to having their district being eliminated and will likely put up a fight to maintain the status quo. A city-parish form of government might be a good comprise to get some council members on board.
Don't expect any of these ideas to see the light of day. Typical of government statewide, politicians are still trying to figure out a way to keep their jobs, the people be damned.

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