New Orleans floods, and once again, Mitch Landrieu's buck stops over there
The current President and CEO, Walter Isaacson, is retiring from the Aspen Institute at the end of the year and is moving to New Orleans to teach at Tulane University. He is a close friend of Mitch Landrieu and is serving as one of the Mayor’s appointments to the Tricentennial Commission. He has invited Landrieu to speak to the Aspen Institute many times and would surely love for Landrieu to succeed him.
Landrieu, a lifelong politician, is looking for his next job and rather than a mundane position in the private sector, being a high profile think tank executive would be a perfect fit. It would give him the media spotlight and a platform to advocate all his favorite liberal issues such as climate change and discuss all his favorite liberal buzz words such as diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and resiliency.
The only problem with his wonderful scenario is that Mitch Landrieu still has a job to do, serving as Mayor of New Orleans. An engaged Mayor would have quickly ended his “Security Conference” early and rushed back to New Orleans to deal with the flooding emergency. Instead, Mitch Landrieu stayed in luxurious Aspen and did not address the local media or his constituents until two days after the storm.
This accountability delay is totally unacceptable, but it is typical of Mitch Landrieu. Regarding Saturday’s flooding, Landrieu made others in his administration take the heat and then he returned to New Orleans days later to condemn their actions, fire some people and act like he is a take charge Mayor. In reality, he is a political coward who never takes responsibility for the multitude of problems that have arisen during his two terms as Mayor.
For example, as crime has exploded under his watch, Landrieu has not accepted any of the blame for failing to address his most important responsibility. In contrast, he has been adept at inventing excuses and pointing the finger at other factors.
This is exactly how he dealt with this latest flooding debacle. His handpicked Executive Director of the Sewerage and Water Board, Cedric Grant, is now retiring. Of course, Grant will collect an amazing pension and will join the former Sewerage and Water Board Executive Director Marcia St. Martin in enjoying the lifestyles of the rich and famous, compliments of the taxpayers of New Orleans. When St. Martin retired she collected an eye popping one-time payment of $680,000 and an annual pension of $175,000 per year. No wonder, Grant wants to cash in as well.
The citizens of New Orleans will not be sad to see Grant retire. He laughably blamed Saturday’s flooding on global warming and erroneously claimed that all of the city’s drainage pumps were working. In actuality, 14 pumps of assorted sizes were offline for maintenance and there was a “power generation” issue that caused additional problems.
Landrieu is also requesting the resignation of two other Sewerage and Water Board officials and the Director of Public Works. This fits Mitch Landrieu’s political pattern for whenever there is a problem, Mitch Landrieu passes the buck to someone else. In fact, he is the Mayor and the one ultimately responsible for the increase in crime, the poor streets, the horrible drainage and all of the other problems of city government in New Orleans.
Landrieu controls the Sewerage and Water Board and is the one who should be accountable for the horrendous problems exposed on Saturday. Instead, he condemned the people he appointed to leadership positions.
If Mitch Landrieu possessed true leadership skills, he would have taken responsibility for this disaster and apologized to the people of New Orleans. Sadly, with Mitch Landrieu, his guiding principle is political expediency, for the buck never stops at his desk.
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