Letter: New Orleans must pay its own way

Re: “City seeks halt to NOPD consent decree,” published Feb. 1.

When will the citizens of New Orleans come to the realization that their fine city is simply a ward of the federal government? Few, if any, major improvement projects are funded by the city itself. Federally funded projects range from massive street improvements all the way to minuscule projects like the planting of vegetation on the neutral grounds.

The latest debacle raging about the New Orleans mayor’s legal maneuvers to cancel the mandated consent decree for police and jail improvements, which he initially supported, simply serves to amplify this ward status. No federal monies, no improvements.

New Orleans residents need to grow up and start paying their fair share of the costs to maintain the city in which they choose to live.

One would think its Republican residents, in particular, will be quite vocal on this issue, since it is their party’s main political theme to curb entitlement spending.

New Orleans supposedly receives tons of money from Harrah’s Casino and major tourist events like the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Essence, Jazz Fest etc.

However, just how much income it receives from these events, and where it is spent, still remains a mystery to most of its citizenry.

New Orleans residents need to take their heads out of the sand and look at the tenor of the political climate nationwide. The federal money free ride is over, for these funds are going to be more and more reduced.

It’s time to end the economic T-shirt mentality and start to figure out how to maintain and repair the city’s infrastructure with the money it takes in from its main industry: tourism.

If those funds are not sufficient to pay for the city, then it needs to find additional revenue industries, as has been suggested by many city manager economists over the years, but ignored.

The gravy train has left the station!

Jim Anderson

retired educational administrator

Ponchatoula