Does Mayor Landrieu have a hidden agenda in his drive to remove historical statues around the city in a knee-jerk reaction to a regrettable happening in another state? Has the mayor played the race card to distract the black voters from the more pressing problems facing our city?

The city is filled with streets that are more suitable as tank traps than roadways, with no repairs in sight. The French Quarter is the goose that lays the golden tourist egg, yet the streets are in terrible condition and the sidewalks in many instances are worse than the streets. Lakeview’s streets look like a Third World’s, and St. Charles Avenue is not far behind. These areas are the main tax base for New Orleans, but the problems don’t stop there. Go anywhere in the city — the 9th Ward, New Orleans East — the situation is the same.

The NOPD is in disarray, murder rates are out of control and response times to report a crime are measured in hours rather than minutes. Water mains are leaking thousands of gallons of water through old, rusty broken pipes because there is no money for their repair. Blighted homes are everywhere, delinquent taxes are not being collected, and neither are the fines for these scofflaws. The list goes on and on, and, yet, the administration’s complete attention is focused on the removal of a few statues of some gentlemen, who, history tells us, were not the ogres they are made out to be and did much for the South and New Orleans after the Civil War. It is time the black and white communities band together and work for a city united against problems facing this city regardless of the political expedients proposed to distract from the realities facing New Orleans.

I live in Jefferson Parish, and you may wonder why I would be concerned with the problems facing New Orleans, but reality dictates that what affects New Orleans also affects Jefferson in the long run. We are culturally, socially, financially and economically connected to each other. Your successes are ours; your infrastructure and police problems increase our problems in these areas. We are related, “mon cher.”

Christian L. Sarrat

retired travel agency owner

Metairie