Who Says You Can’t Fight City Hall?

Sat, 18 Mar 2006 16:29:32

It has been a busy week: I finally have time to  describe the hearing about the ugly and humongous condo in front of the City Planning Commission last Tuesday. The CPC meets in the Council of Clowns Chambers. It smelled of must greasepaint and hot air. There were big shoes and little motorcycles strewn about as if the clowns had abandoned them hastily…

There was a sizable crowd assembled; most of them were there to oppose the condo proposal. Two of Council Clown Gill-Pratfall’s challengers my candidate Shane Landry and Michael Duplantier were there to denounce the developer and his untalented and obnoxious architect’s plans. The CPC has adopted some *very* restrictive rules on testimony: the pro-development side was given 15 minutes plus a rebuttal. The anti-big ass ugly condo forces were also given 15 minutes but there were 13 of us to speak against the project. So much for free speech in front of a public body. I was not amused and neither was Michael Duplantier who raised his displeasure with the CPC. Btw Michael has piercing blue eyes and is bald enough to run for Mayor instead of City Council. Now that I think of it Shane also has piercing blue eyes but way too much hair to be a Mayoral candidate.

The developer performed fairly well but his architect is overbearing and obnoxious and played true to form. This guy completely undid any postive impact that the developer had. I really should send him dead flowers to thank him for screwing up so badly.

The opponents made some darn good speeches; especially the guy whose house is slated to be surrounded by the hideous condos. At the meeting in the hood he yelled and screamed but at City Hall he contained himself and sounded passionate instead of furious. Trust me he’s entitled to his fury. My boy Shane Landry made several good populist points about what I call the “yuppie ghetto.” He expressed concern about building a place for yuppies to live when NOLA needs affordable housing: “Rich people can live anywhere ” he said.

Well done Shane. He has superb people skills if he can just find the time to meet enough people Shane has a chance to unseat Gill-Pratfall. He made a good impression on the people at the CPC as did Michael Duplantier who is now my second choice to replace the idiotic incumbent.

I had very little time to speak so I was concise. Yeah really. I spoke for less than one minute. I know it’s a fricking miracle. On rebuttal the developer’s architect maligned and belittled opponents of the project in a way guaranteed to backfire. It did: the CPC deferred approval of the plan and told the developer to work with the neighborhood to make it more acceptable. We shall see…

In short we won round one but these zoning battles are usually long and drawn out. Additionally the position of Council Clown Gill-Pratfall remains murky. She’s probably awaiting instructions from her master Dollar Bill Jefferson before getting off the fence. Anyway the project’s future is in doubt and that’s fine with me. I hope that it’s dead but these things have a way of rising from the grave. I’m hoping that the municipal election will drive a stake through the project’s heart. Die ugly humongous condo project die. <the vampire images are flying thick and fast today>


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