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Federal Office Of Management And Budget Director Tours Port of New Orleans

Eileen Fleming

Shaun Donovan became familiar with New Orleans as secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the past five years. Now, he’s looking at the city as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Officials from ports across Louisiana gathered in New Orleans to welcome Shaun Donovan to his new job for the White House.

For the past few months he’s been director of the largest component within the executive office. He’s in charge of assembling the budget the president needs to pay for his programs.

Donovan was given a detailed presentation full of projects that locals want funded. And he was taken on a boat tour to see first-hand what the infrastructure looks like along the Mississippi River at the Port of New Orleans.

He made no promises, other than being a “partner” in their efforts to increase maritime commerce.

“Not only are these ports often the lifeblood of the economy of our cities around the country, but they also provide a critical access to the waterfront, to recreation,” Donovan said.

He says his job at HUD highlighted the connection between a good job and a good quality of life — something that a thriving port can help achieve.

“By investing in ports, by investing in infrastructure, we’re actually growing jobs and ultimately contributing to ways that we grow our economy and bring down our deficits in the long run.”

Ports want more federal money to pay for deeper dredging to accommodate larger vessels, and for improved facilities and infrastructure.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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