Bureaucratic Bermuda Triangle

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I waited all weekend for Monday to roll around and for everyone at City Hall to show up with their tryptophan hangovers to answer some questions that I have about blight, and demolitions processes, to address some grey areas in this current and next wave of recovery. Are we going to start taking properties away from little old ladies because they can’t board up their own home in the upper ninth? Why is Rob Couhig on the board of NORA and also part owner a modular home company? Is the public notice process being followed for all demolitions?

So, Karen and I took our list of questions and agencies and played Perdido-Poydras St. pinball for half the day going back and forth between City Hall and the Amoco building. We had the most fun at the City Attorney’s office where we were asking to speak to someone about the properties being demolished by FEMA, all the applications for these demos are run through this agency. Some properties on this list suffered 15% damage, and while I understand the rights of homeowners, I don’t think the taxpayers really should be spending 30K a pop to demo your house because you don’t want to mow the grass or the sink is full of dirty dishes and you’re just too tired. I think you can spend your own cash on that and maybe get your shit together. I would rather see that money go to help someone fix their house.

First, when I go to City Hall, I am always pleasant, sometimes still in my pajamas, but as many of you know, a visit to City Hall in New Orleans means a few things will happen to you.

a)You will be ignored and then yelled at and sometimes even lied to by a city employee and treated with disdain.

b)You will not speak to the person to whom you need to speak to first, the department will likely throw a fake city employee to you first.

c)You will get a parking ticket, or, if your visit was actually successful, your car will be gone. Don’t get upset, just be prepared, this is part of the Bermuda Triangle of all things New Orleans.

One of the fake employees at the City Attorney’s office made the fatal mistake of rolling her eyes at Karen while giving us a well practiced line of bullshit. Karen told her to stop and reminded her that she actually works for us today and she was going go get her supervisor to address our concerns right there and then. This happened and we got our meeting and forced the office to examine some obvious errors by handing them their own damning evidence. Then, we ran into the woman in charge of the America Speaks subcontract for the UNOP and Karen asked her why they won’t release the questions they asked the focus groups for this weekend’s community congress and then Karen killed her with her bare hands. Well, ok, not really, the woman just wished she was dead.

2 Comments so far

  1. rcs (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 8:51 am

    Go Laureen go!


  2. Lynn Brown (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    Stay on them Laureen! Someone has to so we can make our way back home. Funny how when modular homes were introduced it was considered reasonable. Kinda funny how after pilings are driven and home installed,the pricetag comes to just about $150,000.What a coincidence it is just enough to be covered by the “Road Home ” program. Makes me wonder if there is something rotten in the woodpile. Please stay on our side.



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