Hope you didn't miss this Letter to the Editor from Sissy Sartor:
Re: "Revitalized Charity will be key to city's recovery, " Your Opinions, Sept. 19. Kurt Weigle, president of the Downtown Development District, must live by the adage that if you repeat something often enough, it becomes true.
Here we are again, two camps trading repetitions in loud voices. On the one side, we have those saying that the only way to achieve a booming city and biomedical district is by bulldozing Mid-City and building a new hospital from scratch.
On the other side, we have those who say that both economic stimulus and resurrection of the historical biomedical district can be achieved by building a state-of-the-art hospital inside the shell of Charity, quicker and at less cost.
How is one to know the right way? The answer is simple.
(1) Appoint a truly independent commission that will evaluate and report on both options.
(2) Insist that the City Council hold truly public hearings before the citizens of this city.
After all, when Mr. Weigle, LSU President Lombardi, and Gov. Bobby move on to their next posts, the citizens of New Orleans will be living with this forever.
Now that's a totally reasonable request we all ought to get behind. Seventy-seven community groups and thousands of citizens all across New Orleans have been asking for independent analysis and public hearings to help mediate this issue for years. The reason we haven't had public hearings is because City Council and the City Planning Commission have refused to hold them even though they are required by the City Charter. In fact, New Orleans residents have sued the Mayor of New Orleans for authorizing the expropriation of Lower Mid-City homes outside the established legal processes. Yet, elected officials sit idle as the proposed LSU/VA project creaks along the margins of the law though a Renwick poll commissioned by Smart Growth Louisiana has shown that a whopping 83% of Orleans Parish voters want to see the required public hearings take place.