Billy Nungesser: Take the French Quarter Away from New Orleans [VIDEO]
Lieutenant Governor Bill Nungesser talks about a plan to restore the New Orleans economy - a plan that would entail taking control of the French Quarter away from the city.
Nungesser, who had made reference in previous conversations to the city's struggling economy, says it's an idea whose time has come. "For the past few years New Orleans...has been trending down. Now, with the shutdown, we believe that if we don't clean up the Quarter and bring it back with a bang, it will have a negative impact on tourism as we open up the doors nationally and internationally. So goes New Orleans, so goes tourism around the state.
"We're working on a plan to present to (Mayor Cantrell) to do what they did in San Diego where they took the Gaslamp District away from the city, had their own police force, cleaned the street and really make it the shining star it ought to be.
"We're working on that plan now. Anything short of...a wild factor in bringing back or cleaning up the Quarter, it may not survive."
Nungesser then talks about the inevitable resistance from the New Orleans pols, including the mayor. "Sometimes things have to get so bad that you have to take a step back and say, 'What are we going to do to fix this?' And I think this is one of those times. A slow crawl back into tourism in New Orleans...many of those businesses and restaurants won't make it. We've got to really make a commitment to clean it up. So goes New Orleans, so goes the rest of the state."