NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — After a tedious day at New Orleans City Hall, some Gordon Plaza residents who were promised to receive a buyout letter that would help them relocate from the neighborhood still have not gotten one.
On Monday at a task force meeting, Gordon Plaza residents were asked to pick up their offer letter at City Hall at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Nearly 40 residents flooded city hall Tuesday afternoon, expecting that promised buyout letter. When 3 p.m. rolled around, tensions were high when most of those letters weren’t handed out.
Why? The envelopes containing the letters were not ready.
Fed up with the city and feeling they are being pulled in every direction, residents say this process has been nothing short of traumatic and are begging city officials to stand up for what is right.
Now, Gordon Plaza locals just want out, but some feel like this chapter of their lives just won’t come to an end. The theme in the room at city hall seemed to be “How long are we supposed to wait?”
Some residents say they aren’t leaving city hall without their letter.
“It’s very frustrating, it’s emotionally stressful when the city keeps playing this game with us and keeps tormenting us when all of this should be over,” Marilyn Samar tells WGNO. “We were here in the chambers [Monday] for the task force meeting and we were told that we would get our offer letters today at 3 p.m. We are here today and we only have a few offer letters for a few residents.”
Around 7 p.m., most letters had been received, but a handful still was waiting. That’s when a man left a suspicious briefcase in front of City Hall, forcing everyone inside the evacuate as a precaution.
Residents shuffled out, wearing their emotions on their sleeves. They call the day’s events “traumatic” and “extremely disappointing.”
One man who did receive his offer letter says he is satisfied with it, but doesn’t think he will ever trust the city again.
“The city that I love doesn’t love me back, and they don’t love those people back behind me. It’s just that simple for us. We gave them the benefit of the doubt that they would operate in good faith and they can’t even do that,” said Jesse Perkins.
Perkins says he’s talked to many other residents who say they’re disappointed with their letter.
But, as of Tuesday night, residents are keeping closed lips and exactly how much they were offered.
On Wednesday, residents plan on coming back to City Hall at 10:00 a.m. to demand the rest of the offer letters.
As many locals will know, Gordon Plaza was built in the 1980s on top of a toxic landfill. For decades, residents have suffered illnesses because of it.
Once these residents do receive their letter, they will be met with the next big decision: do they accept the city’s offer?
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