Monday, January 22, 2007

Your Heart Says Yes, Yes, Yes. But Your Mind Says No, No, No.

New Orleanians seem to be in favor of the Unified N.O. Plan but have reservations about how to implement it.

The responses that audience members provided by way of computerized keypads suggested that most have little faith in traditional government bureaucracies' ability to carry out the behemoth task of rebuilding.

For instance, residents were asked whether the final UNOP plan ought to give high priority to creating a program of voluntary incentives to encourage residents to live near one another, along with a separate program to strengthen enforcement of blighted-property laws.

Though they generally supported the ideas, the residents also questioned the "integrity of the political process" needed to bring the plans to fruition and noted that the city did not have a good system to eradicate blight before Hurricane Katrina.

"There's billions of dollars coming into this city, and there's nobody to hold them accountable. We need to hold them to the fire," said Robert Dees, whose Algiers home was ruined by Katrina's winds. "On paper, everything looks good, but what about implementing it? And what about accountability?"

Given the atrocious track record of the LRA's Road Home Program, people down here are rightfully skeptical of local and state government implementing any kind of plan. Maybe this is a wake-up call for residents finally take control of their state and city and put people in charge who will do something about their community and not their cronies.

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