Friday, January 30, 2015

Quality of Life

We moved back to New Orleans two months ago after over seven years in Cincinnati.

We are having house guests from Cincinnati this month and next. To prepare we have been playing tourists, spending time in the French Quarter, Garden District and Magazine Street. We have also taken in some jazz at Snug Harbor, and gone to a concert and the theater.

I recommend that natives of the greater New Orleans area sample the many treats we have for visitors. It is easy to see why the area is such a popular tourist destination.
I do have concerns, however, about the overall quality of life in the city.
Certainly the crime problem is well publicized, enough to put a drag on tourism, but worse still is the effect it has on everyday life in the city. We are concerned about choosing places to take our visitors where we feel we are not at risk. Fortunately we are old enough that we turn in pretty early, before most perps are on the streets.

What troubles me is that there is not much confidence that things will get better soon. The NOPD is under a consent decree with the federal Department of Justice. On its website, the City recognizes that the Decree “encompasses sweeping, department-wide reforms” and that these “may require years to accomplish fully.” Consent Decree monitors have reported displeasure with the results so far.
This is not a problem that developed recently, or the changes would not have to be “sweeping.” Why has it taken so long to recognize and address these problems? Certainly there have been budgetary limitations, but where are our priorities?

Another serious deterioration has occurred at the state level. Governor Jindal has sacrificed Louisiana’s higher education system to his presidential ambitions. I’ll go out on a limb and say that he is wasting his time and the state’s future.
Perhaps Jindal thinks that becoming the darling of the right could lead him to the vice-presidency. His pandering has led to his closing several options to achieve some relief because they are not “revenue neutral” as conservatives demand. His ability to balance the budget with one-time revenues has run out, leaving a mess for the next governor.

The state ranks 49th in most measures of quality of life bettering only Mississippi, which will reverse this before long.
Where is the citizen outrage over this? Why do we continue to elect legislators who roll over to the governor’s failed proposals? Why are the city and the state always being “reformed” without ever getting there? People who have lived elsewhere know that it doesn't have to be this way.

I would appreciate your comments.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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