I made it home in time to watch the first New Orleans mayoral debate. It was moderated by Norman Robinson who did a good job at trying to keep everything sounding serious despite the obvious humor from some of the candidates. I have a few thoughts.
1. After watching the debate tonight I think it would be a good idea for everyone in the city to scale back their unrealistic expectations of one man or woman walking into City Hall and transforming the city with their leadership. I’m not saying that there was no one up there that wouldn’t be a good mayor. I’m saying that it’s time to look at solutions from a broader view than just one person.
2. If I had to name a top five in no particular order it would be Leslie Jacobs, Troy Henry, Mitch Landrieu, John Georges, and everybody else.
3. Ed Murray needs to pick it up but I did agree with his idea that the mayor’s office needs to be more involved with the educational system. This is a great idea even if it’s just serving as a watchdog for the citizens.
4. James Perry should have spent more of his talking time presenting his agenda and not attacking Ed Murray’s voting record. The people have to know you well enough before stuff like that holds weight.
5. There was a candidate named Jerry Jacobs who was trying his best to make Norman Robinson snap by answering every question with his idea to legalize marijuana. I don’t know about legalizing weed but his overall point was the closest to my main concern in the city. Everyone has good ideas but we have no money to implement them. Legalizing marijuana might not be the answer but we do need some cash.
6. Speaking of cash…we pay 9% sales tax in the city of New Orleans and only 2.5% of that goes back to the city. Where does the other 6.5% go and why haven’t I heard anyone go completely bonkers about this?
7. Anytime Rob Couhig says anything negative about Ray Nagin he loses creditability with me because he is one of the people who endorsed him during the run-off and helped him get back in there during the last election.
8. I bet Nadine Ramsey is going to do much better in debates once she gets over her camera shyness. She looked nervous.
9. Someone at the transit authority should go to work in the morning and make the St. Charles streetcar handicap accessible for Jonah Bascle. The first reason is that should already be done. The second reason is that if he wins the election all of you are getting fired.
10. My final opinion is this debate did nothing to move to the corner of one candidate or another but now I know the few that I want to do more research on. Right now the biggest thing that happened to me was finding out the city only gets 2.5% of the sales tax we pay. I need some clarification on that.