Government & Politics

What IS going on at City Hall?

The past few weeks have been a distillation of what New Orleans is, and what we do best. Throwing off the yoke of the past few years and celebrating in the streets with ad-hoc parades as well as those that have been more carefully orchestrated, we all felt a renewed pride in our recovering Crescent City.

Pre-K, telling people you were from New Orleans made them smile. Post-K, that statement prompted a more visceral response, usually followed by a slew of uninformed suggestions, most of them questioning our very right to exist.  New Orleanians were on the defensive and we seemed to stay that way no matter what. The Saints win and the swift conclusion of the mayoral race seems to have put us back on the offensive, at least for now. Like all games, the game of municipal politics is one that is won and lost with each decision made.


Taking a peek at the City Council calendar this morning was a reminder that the theory of governance is at work – and only the theory. Almost half the meetings have been rescheduled or cancelled. The lame duck(ing) has begun with 5 out of the 9 meetings in the first 3 weeks of February struck from the calendar.

Of course, this is nothing new. We always put off things around  Carnival time. But is that a particularly good idea this year?

With City Hall shutting down on Fridays – and this week’s 3 p.m. closing for the Saints parade – government already is less available to the citizens.

For a moment, let’s overlook the fact that most government meetings are held during the day for the convenience of the bureaucrats, not for the convenience of the working citizens.

Cancelling over half the committee meetings makes the equation even tighter. Perhaps the key to holding on to a winning strategy is to play as seldom as possible.

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