I just received this e mail from local attorney,
Keith Hardie, Jr.

The Mayor’s rush to demolish historic buildings in the wake of Gustave is only one aspect of the inadequacy of the City’s protection of neighborhoods. As we speak, the historic McMahon Funeral Home being converted into a Haunted House/Reception Center/Paranormal Research Center (with S&P threatening to unleash 50+ grandfathered parking spaces on the neighborhood) is trying to arrange for police details for an opening, even though it doesn’t have an occupancy license. Last week, a new bar opened on Maple St, again without an occupancy license. A building in the 700 block of St. Charles is about to collapse on its neighbor. One right across the street is undergoing demo by neglect. There’s scarely a block in this City that isn’t threatened by forces which are either assisted or unopposed by the Executive Branch. Neighborhood groups and preservation organizations are overwhelmed.

It’s clear that slum landlords, sleazy developers, and bar owners feel that they can ignore the law with impunity, or, with a little patience, sneak by with an ill-conceived permit. The Mayor is the chief enforcement officer, and he’s failing in the executive’s prime responsibility: protection of the public and enforcement of the law. It’s partly incompetence, but he clearly suffers from a nasty strain of the deregulatory fever that’s bringing us the Wall St. meltdown. This Mayor apparently believes that if you suspend regulation and don’t enforce the law, the City will rebuild faster.

The only way to reform the executive in the short run will be public demonstrations. Lawsuits either fail or take too long and are very labor intensive. (I’m currently representing neighborhoods in at least three lawsuits, so I speak from experience.) Only the Mayor can act fast enough to stop this stupidity. And the only way to get the Mayor’s attention is to bring political pressure via public demonstrations. The message? NAGIN HATES NEIGHBORHOODS! RAY LOVES LAWBREAKERS! Put him on the defensive. Make him explain. Create some eye candy for the 6 o’clock.

Sunday Funnies

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...