I also read the entire article however I am not a fan of the political viewpoints and slants that the NYT puts on their articles. I don't want to head down that political slippery slope so I will only say that my viewpoint is slightly skewed.
When we were there in June, we stayed in Orient Village. The businesses that we frequented had a different viewpoint as well. One owner said that the French government, in its socialistic way, have subsidized the people with welfare and medical care so much so that he cannot get people to work. He had also said that the people that are willing to work will only work for cash "under the table" so as to not lose their welfare and medical. He believes that the funds being expended for Saint Martin are not able to be used for the rebuilding because it is being consumed by the people.
Here in the US the government has to compensate people when they seize their property under eminent domain but I have no idea if the French government is or would be required to follow the same compensatory package as here. If the government there can seize property without compensation, then I too would be worried about a land grab. The government should also be able to enact rules/laws in reference to rebuilding and structure strength. If you look at our own land you'll see that homes now being altered or built along shorelines have to be built to strict standards and most are having to be raised.
Re: In todays New York Times....
#206157 10/07/201908:28 PM10/07/201908:28 PM
I liked the part in the article that stated, "The French government’s promise to deliver substantial help was not an empty one. It allocated more than $500 million in aid and subsidies in the first six months after the storm to the recovery and reconstruction of Saint-Martin and the smaller, nearby French island of Saint-Barthélemy, according to Sylvie Feucher, the French state’s top representative based in the two territories."
$500 million in aid and very little has been done to date??? I think the French Side might need an independent council to control these funds, as is the case on the Dutch side? Just sayin'