Nagin says city making progress
"While committees on topics ranging from health care to repopulation met during the past few months, neither Nagin nor any of his advisers hinted Tuesday at any major change in direction for the city. Much of the progress they touted sounded more like the return of a hobbled government to some level of functionality than the realization of a bold new vision.
As Nagin put it: 'The key question is, is New Orleans in a better position today than it was 100 days ago. And my conclusion is that we are.'"
But the things they cite as their "accomplishments" are things like the trash being picked up more frequently. Which is nice as far as it goes, but people in the devastated areas still don't have reliable electricity or phone service. People still don't have houses! And the displaced working poor are still displaced, in cities like Houston where they are rapidly wearing out their welcomes.
The whole thing has been a huge disappointment. The joke around town has been, Hey, Ray, a 100-day plan means you do stuff in the first 100 days, not take 100 days to come up with a plan. I thinks it's safe to say nothing has really been accomplished.
Not that I expected anything from him at this point, but a lot of people did.
It's a bad sign.
People are also extremely frustrated with the nightmarishly bureaucratic Road Home, to which you have to apply with an extremely long, complex and number-heavy application before you can get in to see anyone or even really talk to anyone one the phone. It turns out the "applications" people filled out online months ago were really just "registrations" and generated no useful effects except maybe to give the LRA some rough idea of the numbers of people who have been applying.
It's just all very discouraging, and I'm worried. About six months ago the scuttlebutt was about people moving back into the city: evacuees who swore they would never return coming home after all, and expatriates like Mark Folse moving home to take a stand and try to save their city.
But now, I'm starting to hear about people giving up and moving away. The rebuilding hassles, the spotty electricity, the outrageous spike in the cost of living, the rising crime rate -- some people have just had it. It's so sad. It doesn't have to be that way. Another New Orleans is possible.
There is a Recall Nagin movement afoot. I'm not sure that's the right move at this point, or in fact if it is even legally possible. But someone needs to hold his feet to the fire. 100 days of nothing still equals ... nothing.