[StBernard] A Statement From Mark Madary, Councilman District A

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jan 6 00:50:01 EST 2006


I understand your position completely. But, let me say this, and in my
professional opinion. Should there eventually be some sort of property
buyouts by the federal government, whether they be voluntary or by
expropriation, the sales will most definately have an adverse effect on the
value of a neighboring property and the value of the entire neighborhood.
In fact, I don't think you need to be a real estate guru - or an appraiser
for that matter - to figure out that one. Government buyouts create a
depressed real estate market. And I'm sure everone will agree with this
presumption - the federal government NEVER gives you what your property is
truly worth compared to its value on the open market.

The real devasting impact government buyouts have is they (the feds) buy the
property with the intention of not allowing the land to ever again be
developed. So even if it's voluntary, it will destroy the value of the
neighborhood and any neighborhood adjacent to it. After all, who wants to
buy a house with a bunch of empty lots around them knowing they will never
be built on and the neighorhood will never grow?

Up to now I've not said this publicly, but I'll say it now since you've
brought up the subject. Based on my years of working in state and local
government, having some dealings with the EPA and acquiring some inclination
of how they tick, I will not be shocked, nor even surprised if at some
point in the future the EPA announces they are going to expropriate much if
not all of the properties impacted by the Murphy oil spill.

One thing is for sure, when it come to the federal government - they're
consistent. They consistently look for the easiest and/or cheapest way out
of a problem. Expropriating the oil impacted properties might be the
easiest way out for them. Sure, in the long run the EPA will force Murphy
to pay for it all, but that's of little relevence once the buyout process
has started.

Mark, in my opinion, even though property owners are going to have a lot to
deal with (devaluation, contamination issues, health concerns) it is in the
best interest of the parish that everyone hold fast and try to rebuild or
sell their property to someone who is committed to rebuilding. History
shows that even with voluntary buyout programs, once a few people begin to
sell out to the government a domino effect kicks in and soon more and more
people start to sell to where little is left in a given neighborhood.

Fight it with everything you've got! The future of St. Bernard could very
well depend on it.

John Scurich

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