Governing Magazine has named Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans one of their “Public Officials of the Year.”
The award from the left-leaning magazine puts Landrieu on a list of 7 other state and local public officials across the country, including Gov. Jerry Brown of California.
Landrieu’s glossy profile in the magazine highlights that Landrieu “inherited a mess” and notes that the “city has done particularly well on his watch.”
However, the profile of Landrieu ignores the core issues facing New Orleans that have gone unsolved and unchanged under Landrieu’s administration.
For instance, the profile mentions that Landrieu has cut the size of bureaucracy. But, that is just not the case. Landrieu’s 2016 budget is set to add 200 full-time city government jobs. And his administration has expanded the city’s health department to include an entire bureaucratic process just to oversee the city’s smoking ban.
This year was particularly bad for Landrieu as he had four major fights on his hand: The city-wide smoking ban, his proposal to remove Confederate monuments, the fight between the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) and Landrieu and an ever-growing crime problem.
The city’s smoking ban put businesses at odds with the city earlier this year, with over 100 business filing suit and ultimately losing that battle against the city.
Then came the politicizing of the city’s historical monuments which have ties to the Civil War. Landrieu pushed the proposal after the Charleston AME Church shooting. The issue has divided the city ever since and even a group of black pastors have called for Landrieu to stop the division.
Additionally, a high-profile fight between NOFD and the Landrieu administration has plagued Landrieu all year. NOFD has been pushing for their millions in backpay owed to them by the city for decades and with Landrieu, the issue finally came to a head.
Not to mention, under Landrieu’s administration, the NOFD is operating using broken down fire trucks and old equipment, while the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) just bought a slew of brand new police vehicles, even though their old vehicles were not in poor condition.
Then, finally, the city’s crime problem.
Governing Magazine only mentions crime once in their write-up of Landrieu. The Hayride has been extensively reporting on New Orleans’ crime problem and how it has gone sometimes ignored by the Landrieu administration.
And though 2014 saw a huge drop in murder in the city, the murder rate in 2015 has ticked back up, as well as violent crime and armed robberies, both of which have skyrocketed under the Landrieu administration.
Landrieu may be “Public Official of the Year,” but for all the wrong reasons.