Gulf Coast recovery point man to leave
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

NEW ORLEANS - Donald Powell, who oversaw Gulf Coast recovery efforts for U.S. President George Bush since 2005, said he would be leaving his post soon.

Powell said observing the rebuilding of Gulf Coast communities destroyed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita was the most rewarding aspect of his job, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Friday.

Still, governmental bureaucracy was frustrating, he said.

"The thing that I struggled with more than anything else is the inability to cause things to happen as fast I would like," Powell said.

Saying he never took remarks made by people displaced by the hurricanes personally, Powell said he was optimistic about the future in the region.

"I've watched people who had struggled and now see hope," said Powell, a former banker. "Hope is a huge word and I think watching hope come into the lives of people is the most rewarding part of the job."

Powell said that he anticipates returning to Texas and rejoining the banking business in some capacity.

"(Our) nation owes Don a debt of gratitude," Bush said. "I appreciate his service to the country and thank him for his dedication."

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