Sunday, September 04, 2005

A Bus, A Bus, My Kingdom for a Bus

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was shooting off his mouth on CNN on Friday. The Mayor is apparently starting to realize that there were some mistakes made in the preparations for the coming of hurricane Katrina. I don’t want to start blaming anyone for the disaster in New Orleans. Katrina was an act of nature and you can’t mess with mother nature. But Mayor Nagin doesn’t see it that way. He is launching a campaign to make sure that everyone other than him takes the heat for the state of his city.

Nagin said,

"I need reinforcements," he pleaded. "I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. This is a national disaster.

Get every Greyhound bus in the country and get them moving."
“I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, or it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get ... on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now," Nagin said.

They thinking small, man, and this is a major, major deal," he said. "Get off your asses and let's do something."

Mr. Mayor I’d like to refer you to an Associated Press picture:

This is a picture taken on September 1 of hundreds of New Orleans School Buses sitting in a flooded parking lot.

According to WWLTV of New Orleans, on August 28th :
Mayor Ray Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city of New Orleans in the face of Category-5 Katrina which was expected to make a direct strike on the city early Monday.
Nagin said that the predicted tidal surges and heavy rains could mean widespread flooding and power outages that could last for some time.

The order extends to everyone in the city of New Orleans with the following exceptions: Essential military and law enforcement personnel from the city and state, regulated utilities employees, essential members of the media, hospital employees and their patients, medical personnel, Criminal Sheriff's personnel and inmates and hotels and their patrons.

Nagin said the city could and would commandeer any property or vehicle it deemed necessary to provide safe shelter or transport for those in need.

I guess commandeering an entire parking lot full of school buses and using them to evacuate the citizens of your cities that didn’t have the resources to evacuate themselves isn’t part of “providing safe shelter or transport for those in need.”

Now I don’t think that Mayor Nagin is to blame for the chaos in New Orleans right now. But he certainly shouldn’t be blaming the Governor or the President for the trouble either.

Mr. Mayor a real leader doesn't just issue evacuation orders and then run for the hills. He makes sure that all the resources at his disposal are being used to enforce that order. Sitting around fretting and worrying for 4 days and then demanding that the Governor and the President come in and fix your problems doesn't make you leader, it makes you a former Cable Company executive who is in over his head.

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