New Orleans' Mayor C Ray Nagin is on the road again but this time he's not racking up any International Flyer Miles. C Ray is attending the US Conference of Mayors this week in Washington DC where he will present his recommendations for changes in the Stafford Act to President Obama and key Cabinet officials. The Stafford Act covers financial and physical assistance to areas designated as disasters by Presidential order. One of the areas Nagin hopes to improve is the alacrity of reimbursement by FEMA for recovery projects which have been completed and paid for with non-recovery funds.
One wonders if Nagin is aware of the definition of 'completed". In the three and a half years since Katrina, Nagin has been tinkering around with plans and placing his cronies in key positions of recovery projects which never seem to come anywhere near completion. FOX8/The Lens recently ran an interesting story on Nagins' machinations which can be read here.
Nagin has reduced the Claiborne Corridor funding from 4.5 million dollars to 2.5 million citing that the money is needed for "shovel ready" projects, however councilwoman Stacey Head states that those projects in her district are indeed "shovel ready" but have been delayed by the Nagin Administration.
Interestingly, the Claiborne Corridor money has found it's way into the coffers of the Lake Forest redevelopment projects of Cesar Bugos, A close, personal buddy of, you guessed it… C Ray Nagin! Nagin says political alliances had nothing to do with the funding increase. Still, the Lake Forest project has gone from 4.5 million dollars to 9 million. Curious, no?
Nagin has also drained the Recovery School District coffers of 10 million dollars leaving its block grant account at zero stopping projects dead in their tracks. At risk are the Federal City military academy, the downtown international business school and renovations to the CAC. (So you see, the Mayor does have certain powers over education in the city.)
Add to this Nagins' recent funding of Sean Cummings' "Reinventing Sean Cummings" plan, his appointing of cronies Irvin Mayfield and alleged coke dealer and soft-core porn photographer Bernard Wade to head the Municipal Auditorium recovery and his continued attempts to buy the Chevron Building for a City Hall he'll never even sit in and you have one severely disconnected son-of-a-bitch.
I urge the City Council to do whatever it takes to strip C Ray Nagin of all powers and duties for the next four months. It becomes clearer each day that Nagin exists only for the profit of himself and his allies and I shudder at what more damage he may do to this city if allowed to continue his rape of the our financial coffers.