Disasters can turn distant mayors into friends. If not allies.
In that regard, Mayor Kay Halloran apparently is a bit of a buddy these days with Ray Nagin, the mayor of Hurricane Katrina-damaged New Orleans.
Halloran revealed this week that she and Nagin have spoken via phone several times since Cedar Rapids’ historic flood in June.
Nagin was on the line again Monday, the mayor reports.
In a written note back to Nagin, Halloran thanks Nagin for the call, and then gets to the point.
Cedar Rapids, she writes, needs the state of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation to join with Iowa’s in an effort in September to have Congress pass a significant, supplemental appropriations bill that would send disaster-relief money to Cedar Rapids and New Orleans.
Halloran also asks Nagin to push for federal tax relief for Iowa residents and businesses similar to federal legislation passed to help New Orleans after Katrina hit in 2005.
“Time is of the essence,” Halloran writes.
She says Iowa’s Congressional delegation cannot “carry the water alone” in fighting for a supplemental funding for disaster relief.
“The prayers of thanksgiving are for the fact that we had no loss of life. In that respect we are luckier than your city,” Halloran tells Nagin.