NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As the fallout from the Aug. 5 flooding continues, another Sewerage and Water Board member says he's considering resigning.
"I'm not resigning yet, but I do want to give it serious thought after the meeting with the Board of Liquidation," said S&WB Board Member Alan Arnold.
Arnold says he has serious concerns about the board's lack of leadership. The 10-person board is now down four members. Two resigned after the recent flooding controversy.
"I've been advised by several people that I have great respect for that I should do it," Arnold said. "I only have eight months left, and why beat your head against the wall because this organization, the board is in serious shape with the loss of members and the loss of leadership. We got a big power problem, there are all kinds of interesting things that could be done, but it's going to take money and time. That could solve that power problem. We've been trying to solve it with short-term solutions on a 100-year-old system."
The S&WB met Monday afternoon to discuss how the city will pay for repairs to the drainage system that now has diminished capacity. As a result, the governor and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is also president of the Sewerage and Water Board, declared a state of emergency in Orleans Parish.
"We want to do what's legal, we want to do what's right, but we want to do what's financially smart. That's the most important thing, and we are in an emergency, that's not good. The better part of the conversation is it looks like we have the ability to deal with this emergency and to secure what it is we need to secure the system," said Landrieu.
City Councilwoman-At-Large Stacy Head was also at the meeting.
"We have $550 million worth of unfunded infrastructure projects over the next, and I don't remember if it was 10 or 15 years, those are unfunded, those are the projects that are necessary to keep you dry and safe," said Head. "We're not going to get away with spending less than several hundred million dollars on infrastructure upgrades to the drainage system at Sewerage and Water Board, and we cannot put that, in my opinion, on the backs of the property taxpayers."
We reached out the mayor's office for comment. A spokesman says the city would of course want Arnold to continue to serve on the board. The city adds that the mayor will work very hard to fill any vacancies.