Op-ed says Tuscaloosa slower to recover than Joplin | News
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC)- Don't believe everything you read. That's the message from Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox when it comes to an op-ed piece that ran online and in some print editions of Friday's "Wall Street Journal."
When asked about his city's response to the April 27 tornado, "We're proud of it and we continue to be proud of that. And we're going to defend it when opinion pieces are moved to talk about ideology versus the facts on the scene."
The article was written by David T. Beito and Daniel J. Smith. Beito is an University of Alabama History professor. Smith teaches economics at Troy University. The authors compare Tuscaloosa's recovery to that of Joplin, Missouri's.
They write the recovery in Tuscaloosa has taken longer because of new zoning ordinance to remake business and residential districts. They believe Joplin is farther along because that city allowed businesses to take the lead when it comes building back.
Stats including deaths, homes and businesses damaged or destroyed and the number of rebuilding permits issued are used to compare the two cities recovery rate.
Maddox argues time will determine if the path Tuscaloosa chose to recover is the right one.
Fox6 News spoke briefly to Beito by phone. He declined to answer any questions about the Wall Street Journal piece and referred questions to his co-author.
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