June 6, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt
It seems increasingly unclear whether there is a road home for many victims of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, considering the projected shortfall in the so-called road home program. And since no one even knows how much more money is needed, it's hard to imagine how it will be resolved.
Still Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach proposed a resolution to support the program by urging that they begin to answer that question. "I think it would be appropriate to at least express ourselves and let our voices be heard and let them understand that it's an important issue to us and the people we represent. Considering what many see as scandalous management of the Road Home Program, some council members are uneasy about asking for more money.
Council President David Perry says, "It's ludicrous the way the whole thing is being run and being handled and now we're asking the federal government to give us some more money even though it looks like, from where I sit, that ICF has mishandled it, the administration, [and] our state administration has mishandled it. They've not done a good job of getting the money to the people."
Council member Mike Huber laments the effect on our economy and says more restaurants are expected to close. "We're stagnating because we don't have housing to support the workers, to support our economy, to support our lifestyles. I hope there's a whereas or two in there to establish our need for them to get off their Hines and come to a quick resolution."
Council Member Marshall Simien worries about those still waiting for money. "There's a lot of people out there that, this is going to be the only way they are going to recover their lives."
After airing their concerns the council unanimously approved the resolution which will be sent to federal and state officials and the Louisiana Recovery Authority.