Monday, January 16, 2006


Nagin's recent comments regarding rebuilding, etc...

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor Ray Nagin is asking local citizens not to discount the rebuilding proposal released by a volunteer planning committee last week based only on its controversial suggestion of a four-month moratorium on building permits. Speaking before a group of homeowners on Saturday, he said he believes safety factors and market forces will guide rebuilding patterns.

Along that line, he said he will advise residents of eastern New Orleans and the Lower 9th Ward not to rebuild in those areas as long as the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet remains open. Nagin made his comments before a group of about 175 homeowners from several lakefront subdivisions during a meeting at the Lake Vista community center.

Noting that the proposed moratorium on building permits had set off angry reactions across the city, he urged citizens not to be overly concerned about that provision and to take a closer look at the plan drawn up by the Urban Planning Committee of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission.

“I really think that the plan did not get its due justice because of the moratorium debate. So I would ask you to go online [see links below] and really take a look at the plan one more time,” Nagin said.

The mayor said that he is “not comfortable with” imposing a four-month moratorium because “we’ve been issuing permits since the event, and I don’t see how we can go back and stop people from doing the work that they’ve been doing.” In addition, he said, “four months is way too long a period of time. It stops any momentum that we may have going … and it just puts another uncertainty out there.”

Nagin said he believes that, ultimately, people will make good decisions about their own homes.

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