Why are Jefferson Parish residents so much happier with their quality of life than New Orleanians?
A new UNO poll says people who live in Jefferson Parish are 94% satisfied, while residents in NOLA are only 66% satisfied - and that's an eight-point drop from 2013, while results from Jefferson remained pretty much unchanged.
READ MORE: Full results of UNO quality of life survey
I invited UNO Political Science professor Dr. Ed Chervenak into "The Think Tank" this morning to see if he could help explain these findings. "Historically, people are more satisifed in JP because it is a suburban parish. Its a much more prosperous parish, has a much stronger tax base, and government is able to deliver services much more efficiently. Whereas in Orleans Parish, its a relatively weak base, but given its population, it requires a lot of services and so the needs outstrip the resources, and I think that's why you see a bit more negativity," he said.
I kept thinking, aside form the bliions of dollars flowing into New Orleans after Katrina, everything you read says people are starting to abandon the suburbs for the city - is that trend reflected in the study?
"We havent seen that in our poll - certainly we have had an influx of peo ple from outside New Orleans since Katrina. I don't know if we've 'bucked the trend' we're seeing in the rest of the country, where elderly people in particular are moving back to cities for public tanspotiation and access to health care. We just went through a different situation as a results of having to recover from that disaster."
I also asked Ryan Berni to chime in - he's a Senior Adviser to Mayor Landrieu. What does he think about the report?
"I think we take the long view on these kinds of things - these are just a snapshot in one period in time. I think people have reason to be more optimistic about the city, especially when you take the longer view. There was a lot of polling done with the tenth anniversary of Katrina last year, and a lot of that research showed that 70, 80% of the public was optimistic about our future and where we had come from."
To hear the entire conversation, just click on the link below.
FULL AUDIO: Garland discusses UNO quality of life poll