Trailer ‘tards

Blanco tries to intervene in the NIMBY debate over trailers. It’s my own personal opinion that the majority of properties in New Orleans that would be receiving a trailer could host the trailer. Large trailer parks on public green spaces do not seem to me to be widely necessary. The one advantage that they might have–that they are easy to dissolve at a set point in the future–seems to me to be offset by their disadvantages: increased traffic, decreased security at actual renovation and rebuilding sites, and the limited accessibility to public green spaces. The one advantage that they have could be addressed by the city council in the form of a future ordinance that sunset the ability to place FEMA trailers on urban property.

One problem with Blanco’s plan is that it is deliberately constructed to sidestep Louisiana’s open meetings law: “Blanco acknowledged she wanted to keep the attendance at the meetings small in order to sidestep Louisiana’s open-meetings law.” This, I don’t think, is smart government. Closed meetings breed mistrust and apathy in the general population, and on a topic like this, the public deserves to know what their representatives are thinking as they try to hammer out a solution.

My solution is simple: allow everyone who is able to accommodate a trailer on their property to put a trailer on their property. Allow access to larger parks on public green spaces only to people who can demonstrate that their property cannot accommodate a trailer. Limit access to trailer spaces to those who are actively renovating and rebuilding. No building permit = no trailer on public green space.

As for vetoes by council members: if the proposed site is in your district and it’s going to be used by residents of your district, then using your self-given veto power is just a good indicator to voters that you’re not doing your job. Every district should be able to come up with enough space to house its own residents. Tax breaks to businesses that allow portions of their property to be used to temporarily house trailers would probably insure that is the case.

In addition to attempting to remain neutral, Blanco has also offered security, although I’m not sure how she’d be providing it.

9 Comments so far

  1. Ann (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    but your plan makes sense – therefore, it is not an option! :-P


  2. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

    It is, though. There are people in city government pushing good ideas. Just look at the plan for consolidating voting districts that came out of Kimberly Butler’s Clerk of Criminal Court office. Consolidation of voting districts is common sense, although even with yesterday’s settlement there still seems to be some debate about who exactly will be running the elections, even though there’s now an April 29th “last chance” date for holding them. Which is an improvement over Sept. 30th.

    But the point is, things that make sense can be considered and implemented if people want it badly enough and make enough noise. Ater might be willing to publicly piss his Depends at this point just to get out from under all the negative publicity he’s gotten since he delayed elections to begin with.

  3. Jack Ware (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    I guess that works fine for the people who own property that are getting trailers, but I thought the real contention was building trailer parks for people who don’t own property. Did I miss something? I thought that’s why there’s this idea of setting a limit on how long they can stay? Obviously, people who own property will be eager to get out of the trailers and back into thier homes. Do you have to own a home to get a trailer?

  4. Frolic (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

    I’m pretty sure that you don’t have to own a home to have a trailer. I rented and FEMA has called me twice to offer a trailer.

  5. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    I guess I’m being a little shortsighted here, but filling trailers with people who would otherwise be renting seems like it would be devastating to rental income. How do you decide when to close a park full of renters? You’d only prolong the issue if you didn’t tie trailers to properties. Because you can’t ignore the need to return people to the housing market in one form or another. It seems like it would be less painful and less problematic to do it from the beginning. Maybe that means paying rent to government?

  6. roux (unregistered) on January 7th, 2006 @ 11:14 am

    I have a real problem with Blanco skirting the sunshine laws. I know it is important to take the politics out of an issue to speak privately but if these pols can’t say the same thing in public that they say privately then they need to go.

    I do think it is good that someone is stepping up but I have a feeling it isn’t Blanco, it’s Witt and Associates talking.

  7. Jack Ware (unregistered) on January 7th, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

    Blanco needs to leave the money on the nightstand when she goes because she’s fucked us all in one way or another.

  8. Terry (unregistered) on January 8th, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

    No…Katrina fucked us all and Blanco is just an easy scapegoat.

    As far as I’m concerned the economics is pretty simple:
    more trailers = more affordable housing market for renters.
    less trailers = continued price gouging.
    This city WILL NOT rebound if there is not an affordable housing market. This is not Malibu or SoHo, so the only thing increased rents do is help the homeowner while sinking the long-term future of the city.

  9. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 8th, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    Trailers as rent control? It’s definitely an option, probably a better one that “rent-control” in any sort of temporary form. Once things programs like that become enshrined in legislation they tend to never go away, no matter how temporary they were intended. Think tolls on the crescent city connection, for example.

    Eventually markets are self-correcting: higher rents paid by out-of-town people who are here to send their salaries out of state are a check, to some degree, that keeps some more of that money in local circulation than would be otherwise.

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