BATISTE: The Mitchtator Absolves Himself in Blame Game

The New Orleans dictator, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, chopped off a few heads following the recent man-made flood, an attempt to save his reputation. The Mitchtator’s cuts may satisfy the media, but the crowd is still asking for blood–his blood. Mitch is probably still catching up his blame game strategy as he was missing in action during the worst flood since Katrina.

Think about this, the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors was missing in action when leadership was desperately needed in his city. But not only was he absent over the weekend, Mitch has been neglecting the drainage system of New Orleans through his 7.5 years as mayor. By default he is the President of the Sewerage & Water Board. Catch basins throughout the city are damaged, storm drains are clogged below the surface, pipes have partial blockage, and multiple pump stations have capacity & power issues. And neither Cedric Grant nor Mitch Landrieu knew the extent of the deficiencies until citizens challenged city officials and demanded investigations.

“The city was going to flood anyway from this particular event,” Landrieu told reporters Monday. He was in Colorado for a “National Security Conference” when New Orleans flooded for the second time in two weeks.  The Aspen Strategy Group’s workshop that, according to its website, “brings together ASG members, outside experts, and administration officials to identify and anticipate the forthcoming foreign policy challenges facing the United States.”  An event completely irrelevant to New Orleans.

Last week Council Member Stacy Head challenged the administration for not using $3 million budgeted to repair catch basins. The city had no reasonable explanation. But be assured Mitch can rattle off the benefits of his green initiative that he proudly announced from the roof of the S&WB building.  If Grant’s blaming the flooding on the “era of climate change” seemed out of place, please recall last month when Mitch signed an executive order for the city’s first “Climate Action Strategy.”

While building upon his presidential candidate resume in Colorado, several of Landrieu’s administration took the front stage to fill his vacancy. They are now out of a job. Except one.

“We’re asking the public to be patient,” Ryan Berni said while trying to hide his boss’ absence at a press conference Sunday morning. So New Orleanians should be patient as their car, home, shed, and/or business floods due to inept city management.  Please, allow the Landrieu administration time to coordinate a “story.”

The insult to New Orleanians continued when Berni said Monday: “What we’re trying to do is what can we put on paper to prove that as much capacity that was needed was actually on and working at the time.” That quote offers some revealing incite into our Deputy Mayor. Ryan Berni was more concerned with trying to support Landrieu administration lies than he was concerned about getting the truth out to citizens.

If Cedric Grant felt his comments were so far out of line that he needed to retire, Ryan Berni should feel similarly. Mitch called Grant’s comment “tone deaf,” what was Berni’s tone?

While the Mitchtator neglected the city’s drainage system, he’s been quite busy with other causes. He spent two years plotting his extremist social justice monument removal project, made frequent trips to Washington DC to bask in liberal glory, watched as crime has shockingly worsened in a city that has outrageous crime on a “regular” basis, and unveiled his surprise-in-waiting NOLA Pac.

This storm was not a “no notice event” as Ryan Berni repeatedly has stated. Such a claim is audacious. Mitch’s Flood was a man-made flood, arguably more so than Katrina.

It’s hurricane season. The city made us aware through notices and tweets. The home page of the NOLA Ready site asks boldly, ironically, “Are you ready?”  Clearly, the city is not.  What about their part of basic city functions for citizens and businesses such as drainage maintenance? It went unfilled. Absolute dereliction of duty. In the years following Katrina, and in other more competent parishes, preparations were and are made so that the drainage system is in its most functionable shape heading into the peak of hurricane season. Not under Mitch Landrieu. Currently, the Mitchtator has the City of New Orleans, a place he recently called a “model city,” in likely its most vulnerable state as we round into the busiest part of the tropical season. We may avoid a storm, however, this absentee mayor continues to show how little he truly cares about the city and its citizens.

The Mitchtator skipped out on the special Council Meeting on Tuesday to review the flood.  People called out his absence, “Where the rotten mayor at?”  He was holding his own press conference, avoiding the irritated people of New Orleans.

August 5, 2017 was a man-made flood of incompetence from the top down. If the guillotine is falling, it should fall on S&WB President Landrieu, Conference of Mayors President Landrieu, and Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni. The Landrieu administration has failed on multiple levels in multiple scenarios.  The blame game needs to end.  The blame for the state of the city–overrun by crime, decrepit utilities, racially divided, nepotistic city construction, crumbling streets, and increased street flood susceptibility–belongs solely to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

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