Local Man Criticized For Not Responding Quickly To Katrina
Local resident Bob Komolski has been criticized by friends, neighbors, relatives and editors of the Bayside Villa Times weekly paper for waiting too long to respond to the crisis in Louisiana and Mississippi. Instead of donating immediately, say critics, Komolski waited until two days after to even begin discussing with his wife who they should write the check out to, or if their two kids had grown out of any old swim trunks that they could send.
"It wasn't until two days after the storm hit [Thursday, August 31, 2005] that [Bob] started looking to find the charitable organization that best suits our beliefs," said Komolski's wife Linda. "He should have devoted more time before Katrina hit land towards finding an institute that would give the money to the good church-going people of the south and not the Voodoo-worshipping, rich-food-eating hordes, but instead he dallied, and it took over 48 hours before anyone down there saw any money from him. That's just not acceptable."
Others have joined in their chorus of disapproval of Komolski's handling of the situation.
"When he came in the day after the storm hit [Wednesday, August 30, 2005]," said co-worker Tim Moran, "Bob didn't ask 'Did you guys hear about the flood?' or 'Can you believe what happened at the Superdome?' but instead was like 'Did the Yankees win last night?'"
"Yankees win," he repeated in disgust. "I'll tell you who didn't win: the good people of Louisiana. And Bob's lack of quick action sure as hell helped make them not win."
Moran stated that he and the other employees of We Care A Lot Products Incorporated were shocked and appalled by Komolski's apparent callousness towards the situation as they gathered around the table in the lunch room for morning coffee. Moran claims that it took five at least minutes before Komolski made any remark about the devastation of New Orleans, or the shoddy relief effort, waiting until he had finished perusing the baseball scores from the previous night.
"He seemed a lot more miffed by the fact that it was already almost September than he was by the fact that millions of people had just been displaced by this catastrophe," complained company office manager Nancy Borquette. "I, on the other hand, was almost in tears, because now my husband and I have to cancel the trip we were planning on taking to New Orleans in November, and I'd always wanted to see the French Quarter and really experience the culture."
In addition to condemning the delayed response, many have also questioned whether or not Komolski's contribution goes far enough. In fact, many are calling his donation of $300 to the American Red Cross too little, too late.
"You've got to do more than make an appearance and hug a few other concerned citizens if you're going to make a difference," said neighbor Jim O'Toole as he proudly affixed a new "Save New Orleans" ribbon bumper sticker to his Ford Explorer. "Even when Bob finally got his shit together and made a concerted effort to help the royally-fucked victims of this disaster, it was not close to enough to make the kind of difference that those people need and deserve."
O'Toole did admit that he didn't "really know how much" Komolski gave, but "he sure didn't give as much as me and my wife [Alicia] sent. We had to stay in this Saturday night instead of go to our usual favorite T.G.I. Friday's, but Bob was on his boat all day, wasting gas, fishing for perch and not even having the decency to send them down some breaded fillets to help the starving children. Fuck me, what a prick!"
Some are even demanding that Komolski resign his position as social activities chairman of the Bayside Village Condominium Unit Owners Association in light of his lack of planning and slow-response time.
"All you had to do was read the newspapers the day before the storm hit to know that they were going to need a little help," said Condo Association President Vic Lamone, "so when I saw the storm approaching on TV, I said to my wife, 'I'll bet they're going to need some money. Honey, go see how much money you have in your New Shoes and Purses Fund.' It's that kind of leadership that mobilizes emergency response and gets things done, but with an idyll like Komolski sitting in a position of authority, you'll never get results. I mean, if he screws up this sort of thing, just think how awful the 2nd Annual Bayside Villa Texas Hold-'em tournament is going to go next week.”
Komolski defended his actions, citing bureaucracy and red-tape as impediments to mobilizing his donation quicker.
"There needs to be a better connection between state, local and national media in covering things like this," he said. "If people had asked for help in the first place, I would have given it, but it wasn't until I saw Mike Meyers and Kanye West on TV saying that the people of New Orleans need help and that President Bush hates black people that I grasped the severity of the situation. That's when I sent them the most that I could afford, so now we've all got to join forces and get New Orleans back up by the time Marti Gras rolls around. If not for us, then at least for [local Cajun restaurant owner] Sid [Dowd]. I hope he's doing okay."