Mayor Nagin's latest folly...
Ok, so the casino story is out and the lines are developing. It's heartening to learn that some on the City Council are expressing their opposition to the Mayor's latest grasp. For those who're not aware of this story, Mayor Nagin has proposed extending land-based casinos along the Canal St. and Poydras St. corridors between the river and Claiborne Ave. If you care about this issue, please be sure to register your opinion at wwltv.com.
Now for my thoughts. First, I agree with Cheezwhiz that this is the desperate act of a desperate politician. Second, casinos are not the cash cow that politcal types always tout to the public; they drain resources away from the local community in the form of gambling losses and send those profits to outside corporations in other states. In Harrah's case, they cry about the tax bill and get the rules amended after-the-fact. Third, this will drive away any serious-minded businesses who might consider adding their resources to the rebuilding of our city.
Finally, as some of you know, I personally enjoy casinos, but I do not believe they are good for my community. I believe that this plays to the image that most of our tourists remember about our city: dirty, semi-legal, and debauched. Someone who knows the heart and soul of New Orleans, realizes that her strength is in her neighborhoods, not her tourist attractions. We were a destination spot long before casino gaming arrived, and we will remain one in the future, granted our leaders do not alter the charm of our town.
One final comment on Mayor Nagin's proposal. He should be ashamed of himself for a long list of things before, during, and after Katrina, but this really pisses me off (pardon my French). Perhaps this is one more final straw with our mayor for me. Mayor Nagin's answer to fixing the city consists of proposing something he has no control over and has the ability to completely destroy the business image of New Orleans. For almost four years now, we've been told what a great businessman Mayor Nagin was and how he would bring corporations pouring in to New Orleans, and now finally we learn what his master stroke is to revive our economy: Casinos.
Pardon my lack of eloquence, but Sheesh!