Lower 9th Ward, N.O. East left with questions after Johnson's quick exit

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 19 at 8:16 AM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

NEW ORLEANS -- News of Jon Johnson's legal troubles and resignation as District E Councilman hit hard Wednesday.

With so many problems still facing New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward, folks like Ernette Sterling says it's another setback.

"I think it's gonna have an impact on the east, because now we have a black eye,” Sterling said. "We are still bringing our dollars to other parishes. We don't have a grocery store. We still don't have a hospital."

Glance along corridors like Lake Forest Boulevard and you’ll quickly see what she's talking about.

Many believe the area’s recovery has been too slow, and as voters now go back to the drawing board to select a new leader, they know it'll be a critical decision.

"I just hope that we get a council person in that'll do the job and take care of District E and don't have to worry about this unnecessary foolishness," said Holly Thompson.

"(We need) a person who is very sincere about doing the job, who has the community at heart, not themselves, but the community. There are some very good people that live out here that deserve much better," said Jeffrey Gates.

But while Johnson's case centers on the misuse of funds for non-profit work, others in that same field don't believe the situation will hamper their efforts.

"That's unfortunate information to get today, but we're still serious about rebuilding our neighborhoods and communities don't come back from one person," said Patricia Jones, executive director of the Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association.

However, some like Ernette Sterling believed -- until Wednesday -- they were being represented by the right person.

"I was very disappointed because so many politicians have gotten caught up in wrongdoing and I would've thought that he would've learned by now, not to make that same mistake," she said.

 

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