Thursday, August 06, 2009

City Hall and the LSU/VA, A Comparative Study

Earlier this week I did a post at that I'm particularly happy with. It illustrates how the law was followed when it came time to evaluate the potential purchase of the Chevron building but not when the Mayor signed over Lower Mid-City for demolition to make way for the proposed LSU/VA.

There was a total surrender of oversight authority that occurred when the Mayor signed over Lower Mid-City homes and businesses to make way for a proposed LSU/VA medical complex.

The "Memorandum of Understanding" between the City and the Department of Veterans Affairs is the document authorizing expropriation in the proposed medical center footprint, permitting street closures, and allowing for taxpayer-financed damages to be paid to the VA. The "MOU" was not announced as a proposal to the public, which would have seemingly triggered hearings and votes by the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

Instead, Mayor Nagin simply signed the city into the legally-binding MOU. Neither the City Council nor the City Planning Commission has held a public hearing. Neither the City Council nor the City Planning Commission has held a vote. Rather, both bodies have avoided executing their legally-mandated authority amidst vocal calls from New Orleans residents for the City Charter to be followed.

Instead, city officials locked into a plan for medical facilities that is now stuck in the weeds, soberingly low on funds but apparently high on the prospect of neighborhood demolition and land acquisition.

If you haven't seen it yet, please go read the whole thing.


Amy said...

I am angry that the resolution panel will have its hearings behind closed doors. Are or aren't these publc funds and public interests at stake? What's to hide?

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