Friday, September 12, 2008

king nagin

perhaps nagin has gone mad post-katrina and suffering from delusions of grandeur, thinking himself king of new orleans and answering to no one. he has been accused of nepotism, running up restaurant tabs at the expense of his subjects, and accepting bogus awards in his honor as though he had any honor. and like a petulant king he refused to lift the ban order on returning citizens as though he somehow has the authority to keep citizens from their property, but when you are king, it is your property to do with as you see fit. the latest power grab by nagin is to suspend the review board that handles demolition permits in historic areas. new orleans is unique for many reasons and not the least being its rich architectural displays. prior to katrina, new orleans had the highest concentration of historic districts in the country. i am uncertain as to where the city ranks following the devastation. i do know that status, if it still holds true, will no longer be the case if nagin has anything to say about it. when he first ran for office, he said that he wanted to turn new orleans into an atlanta or a houston and right there he lost my vote. no offense to those cities but they are just like every other american city, with their high rises jutting above massive traffic jams full of overly-caffeinated people racing, always racing somewhere. new orleans may not be the most efficient place in the world but this is where you go if you want to get out of the rat race. here the pace is languid enough to savor a meal, revel in the riotous smell of jasmine, and dream stories about those that lived in these old houses. we can indiscriminately knock these structures down, pave them over or erect ugly ranch style buildings in their stead, but new orleans will lose so much more than the craft of those architectural gems. it will slowly begin to lose its connection to the past and that is what makes the people here cling to our traditions. i think the mayor is over-stepping the boundaries of his authority. there was already in place a system to raze structures in danger of "imminent collapse." why then by-pass a committee designed to protect our architectural integrity? shouldn't there be some over-sight into what we can and can't demolish? with no one watching over his shoulder, buildings that suffer from cosmetic deficits but are structurally in tact will be in danger of demolition and that is a travesty. it goes against the very essence of new orleans and when they make this place just like every other american city, of strip malls and sprawling suburbia, it will be time for the people(who add the flavor to this place) to up and leave and the death of new orleans will be complete. while we still have a city, let's fight for it! let the mayor know that this is not what we THE tax payers want. enough already! he is not above the will of the people. we are new orleans and we need to send that message to city hall.

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