That Was Fast!

Sep 15, 2008 by

Department of Social Services secretary Ann Williamson has tendered her resignation to the Jindal Administration. This comes on the heels of the recent mismanagement of shelters during Hurricane Gustav. From showerless shelters to the understaffed food stamp program, the Gustav Evacuation is widely regarded as only half a success: they got the people out of harms way, but failed to provide for them at the final destinations.

Williamson is one of the few remaining Blanco era holdovers, but I don’t know if that’s truly germaine to the issue. When trying to relocate half a million people, there are bound to be problems and the unpredictable nature of storms can completely destroy even the best laid plans. I applaud the fact that Williamson is taking responsibility for what went wrong, but I think she needs to stay close to the office in order to help her successor pinpoint the parts of the system, (and the people under her command,) which broke down. Governor Jindal has appointed policy advisor Kristy Nichols as the interim DSS secretary.

One problem which is making the headlines is the deplorable conditions of the bathrooms and port-o-lets. Reports indicate that there were insufficient facilities located at shelters. There is a parade of evacuees on the news tonight literally sobbing as if their mother died because they had to step over or in urine and feces to use the bathroom. While I can understand the indignation, the sobbing I can do without. I’m assuming most of these people have never been to a French Quarter bar or Mardi Gras parade.

I may be out of line here, but you can’t blame the Jindal Administration because someone pissed on the floor. If the toilet is backed up or overflowing, move on to the next one. Put a sign on the door and tell someone in charge. Stand guard and point people to a working toilet. During Katrina, we had a dozen people in my mother’s house and her fifty-year old plumbing couldn’t handle the load. (No pun intended.) We peed in the backyard when we had to, visited neighbors if we could, but we didn’t keep overloading the system. If you’re in a situation like this, you need to show some common courtesy, decency and humanity to those you’re stuck with.

-M Styborski, Nation of Morons

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