Wards of the state

I was reading an AJC piece tonight about the post-tornado recovery efforts in Grant Park’s historic Oakland Cemetery. And I was struck by this sentence:

FEMA, which will fund the majority of the cemetery’s renovation and cleanup, has dispatched archaeologists to Oakland for legal, as well as scholarly, reasons.

FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency – is paying for most of the renovation costs of a cemetery and sending archaeologists out to survey the potential artifacts uprooted by the storm. That’s right – FEMA has archaeologists, or at least has contract diggers in its Rolodex.

How is this what happens? The federal agency entrusted to get you food and water after a hurricane, flood, earthquake or whatever is also charged with conducting archaeological surveys and pay for the restoration of non-federal cemeteries? That’s way out of line.

Even if you’d like to make the case that restoring a City of Atlanta cemetery because of tornado damage is a federal responsibility, why in the name of Michael Brown is this a task to fall to FEMA? As I wrote many moons ago, this is not the Federal Problem Management Agency. And I fail to see what is either Federal or Emergency in Oakland Cemetery right now that needs the Management of this Agency.

We’ve given up, I suppose, our responsibility to take care of ourselves and handed it over to FEMA. My sense is that originally, FEMA was called in just for disasters that were truly beyond the scope of local management. But now, any time a stiff wind blows – in rides FEMA. And nobody seems to complain. At Oakland Cemetery, FEMA kept Atlanta officials out until their crews could get by to check things out.

I guess you’ll give up a lot of freedom and independence for those federal checks.

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2 Responses to “Wards of the state”

  1. John says:

    Because you have the acronym wrong?

    It’s the Federal Excavation Management Agency…..

  2. John says:

    Or excrement.

    One of those two.

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