Saturday, November 10, 2007

Today is Opposite Day

The Mayor The C. Ray Nagin blasted the citizens of the City of New Orleans for their continued failures two years after Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf South. According to the Times-Picayune: ( I tried and tried to find the online version of the article from which these quotes are lifted but does not seem to be available. It is the New Orleans politics article from today's paper on the front page of the New Orleans section written by Frank Donze and Bruce Eggler. Italicized portions are word for word from the article's text)

"City officials were embarrassed and even disgusted by the anemic local participation in the Oct. 20 election, when 27.5% of New Orleans' registered voters went to the polls..."

It would seem that the public servants in New Orleans have finally reached their breaking point. After two years of sleepless nights, trying to get the city's recovery off the ground, the mayor and others have finally had enough of its lazy, lethargic constituency that seem to be holding back the rebuilding process.

Mayor Nagin has worked nonstop to put the city back together since the Katrina's devastation, lowering crime, improving education, clamping down on contractor corruption, and encouraging new businesses to relocate to the city. The Mayor's aggressive and experimental approach to urban administration has drawn praise from academic circles, community organizations, and business leaders, somehow uniting coalitions that had previously seemed diametrically opposed. The issue of race has been eliminated as a problem in the city of New Orleans as citizens regularly stop and hug one another on the streets in exchange for learning resources in the Mayor's experimental "Hugs for Books" program. The renaissance of New Orleans has been nothing short of remarkable: there are new roads, a sustainable parks and recreation system, new transportation lines are up and running. The Mayor even negotiated a peaceful settlement to the recent lawsuit fracas involving the District Attorney's office, preventing the agencies payroll accounts from being frozen. Elsewhere, he took a fishy debris collection contract and cut out the fat, scoring New Orleans an incredible deal on trash pickup while restoring curbside recycling for the first time since the storm. The Mayor, known for working 18 hours a day and never going to Dallas, is saddened that his long list of achievements has been soiled by an ungrateful and spoiled population. After being questioned on the issue of low voter turnout, the Mayor finally vented his frustrations:

"...[I]t was kind of offensive to me, because here I am bustin' my butt every day and all I'm asking citizens to do is plug into the democratic process."

City Council, which enjoys a congenial relationship with the Mayor, passed a landmark resolution this week, urging voters to cast ballots for offices it said "are crucial to the ongoing recovery of our city and region."

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E's Thoughts:::

You know, the Mayor is right. They have given us so much we do absolutely nothing in return. We have made no sacrifices while the Mayor, out of the goodness of his heart, has revolutionized this city into something truly special. All he asks is that we go out and vote, that we gather as a community to give thanks to our elected officials, let them know that we're aware of the great job that they're doing and that we're grateful to be living in a city with such ethical, transparent, efficient, progressive, forward-thinking, and aggressive municipal stewardship. I don't think the Mayor is asking for too much at all. I mean, after all that he's done for us. Sometimes, things are going so good that we don't realize that it's time to vote. We forget. We're too busy getting massages and playing golf, too busy going on picnics and flying kites, too busy living the luxurious lives that the Mayor has secured for us. We forget to sacrifice the back nine to say thanks. If we lived in one of those faraway lands inundated by hardship and mismanagement, we wouldn't be so smug to sit in our easy chairs and say to ourselves, "you know, things are going so well, I don't need to vote this year." That's what's happened here. We're just too complacent, too content, too happy with the way things are going. I guess it's a good problem to have, I just think we should be more thankful to the Mayor; he deserves every ounce of credit he can get.


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