Friday, October 14, 2005

Nagin gets irritated at the state, Blanco and Broussard

Nation: There wasn't much love between the city, the state and various leaders. Now it looks like open warfare is about to happen. There are elections coming up in February in the state, so expect the sniping to get even worse.

A frustrated New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin warned Thursday that it would be in the state's best interest to help the Crescent City jump-start its Hurricane Katrina-riddled economy, saying the impact on the state -- if nothing is done -- will pale in comparison to the layoffs the city recently announced. "You think 3,000 layoffs in New Orleans is a big deal. Just wait,'' Nagin, his sleeves rolled up, said during an evening meeting with The Advocate's editorial board. "I see a state in crisis.'' The mayor pointed out during the Baton Rouge meeting that New Orleans accounts for 35 percent of the state budget.
you know some state official is making a joke about how much of that is expense and how much is that revenue coming to the state. The line at the end about Compass resigning reminds me of another line.
His relationships with Blanco and Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard are less than cozy. "I've been trying to work with the governor. We have very different styles. I'm really at a loss for what else to do,'' the mayor said. "There are some really hard feelings right now,'' he said of his feelings toward Broussard. Shortly after Katrina struck, New Orleans residents who had fled to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center tried to "walk to freedom'' by crossing the Crescent City Connection on foot to make it out of the flooded city, but law enforcement officials in Gretna -- which is in Jefferson Parish -- met them with guns and "attack dogs,'' he said. "And they want me to talk about regionalism. I'm not feeling very regional right now,'' Nagin said. n His idea to create a charter school system of 20 schools that he, rather than the Orleans Parish School Board, would control was prompted by the extreme pressure that the board is under to open schools on the city's east bank. "You have a wonderful opportunity to do something better for these children," he said. n The New Orleans Police Department, which has been rocked by Police Chief Eddie Compass' resignation and an ugly and "unfortunate'' beating incident involving a 64-year-old man in the French Quarter, is "going to go through major change.'' "It's going to be a tough challenge. They're resistant to change,'' he said, adding that the hurricanes exposed "the very good of the police department and the very bad.'' There is a "significant enough number" of bad officers on the force, he said. Asked if Compass came to him and asked to resign, the mayor said, "I wouldn't put it like that.'' He said he suggested to Compass that if he was thinking about starting a "new chapter'' in his life, now would be the time.
Michael: ...Well when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to this contract with a big-band leader. And as his career got better and better he wanted to get out of it. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. My father went to see the bandleader, with a contract for $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went to see the bandleader again, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, the bandleader signed the release, with a certified check of $1000. Kay Adams: How did he do that? Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Kay Adams: What was it? Michael: Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured the bandleader, that either his signature or his brains would be on the contract. Okay, I am stretching it to shoehorn in Godfather lines, but you get the idea Nagin and others were not going to take no for an answer.

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