The President of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Todd Murphy must have fallen and bumped his head before he decided it was a good idea to write New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell a letter, chiding her for not talking to folk around the region before she voiced her opinion last week that she didn’t see large-scale events making a comeback in 2020.

In short order of the Mayor’s recommendation, the organizers of Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and Voodoo Fest canceled their 2020 events and instead will focus on 2021.

And it was the right thing to do. The Mayor’s recommendation was made to reduce the possibility of another coronavirus outbreak reoccurring later this year. The city and state are still in the midst of the current crisis. We may be seeing the beginning of the flattening of the curve; but the truth is we don’t have this thing contained yet. We probably won’t until there is a vaccine. And with that, the Mayor’s views were refreshing and welcomed.

People over profit. Not everything that makes dollars makes sense. To be sure, we appreciate that the organizers of those events agreed with the Mayor’s assessment.

But the nerve of Murphy, calling the fact that the Mayor Cantrell made her assessment public without first consulting with regional leaders “risky”. 

Well, the good news is we don’t need a thousand words make this point: Todd Murphy would do well to mind his business. As mayor, Cantrell leads New Orleans and serves the people she represents. “Risky” would be inviting three gigantic crowds to the city on three separate occasions in the middle or at the end of a pandemic. The people of Jefferson Parish did not elect LaToya Cantrell, and she does not answer to them or their business leaders.

Let’s keep 100 for a moment, if we can. It is not as if Jefferson Parish has always been our great neighbors to the west. We certainly have not forgotten when throngs of Orleans Parish residents that were turned around at gunpoint as they attempted to flee the rising waters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by crossing into Jefferson Parish on foot via the Crescent City Connection. 

Oh, so now y’all want to coordinate. Boy, bye.

Mainstream Media Also
Needs to Stop the Madness

We would also appreciate it if local mainstream media would stop holding every decision Mayor Cantrell makes up for scrutiny by asking Gov. John Bel Edwards if he’s going to do it or what he thinks about it.

First, they want to know if he is going to extend the stay-at-home order into mid-May . . . like Mayor Cantrell did.

Then, they want to know what he thinks about her pronouncement that the fall of 2020 is too early to invite millions of people into the city to let the good times roll.

We know exactly why they ask these questions. They can’t wait to fill the internet, the airwaves and their print editions with headlines about the Mayor not consulting the Governor before she made this decision or that decision OR with ones that suggest that the Governor does not agree with the Mayor’s assessment in one situation or another.

Oh, y’all tried it; and it ain’t working. 

As far as we are concerned, Gov. Edwards is doing a good job leading the state through this crisis. But let’s get something straight here, just like Todd Murphy, Gov. Edwards is NOT the mayor of New Orleans. Moreover, New Orleans is not Houma. It is not Shreveport. It is not Baton Rouge.

It is a unique city with a unique set of challenges all its own.  And as the mayor of New Orleans, Cantrell does not need his permission to do what is best for New Orleans. She made it clear, that she will not be bullied into backing down from her stay-at-home orders for the city of New Orleans or any other recommendations she makes in the best interest of our city. And we stand behind her 100 percent.

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