Saturday, January 27, 2007

"We Both Get Up Very Early in the Morning"

An article buried in the metro section of Wednesday's paper reported that Ed Blakely accepted two new jobs last year:
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a Massachusetts-based think tank, said Edward Blakely was hired as a research fellow for 2006-07. Blakely, who officially started his work in New Orleans this month, was hired last fall to look at how cities, through planning, can "adapt to climate change," the group said.

James Ross, a spokesman for Mayor Ray Nagin's office, said Blakely would not be available for comment Tuesday and that the city would have no immediate comment. Blakely's yearly salary with the city is expected to be about $150,000, he said.

It will be up to Blakely to decide how much time he spends on the climate research, though a finished product, including new planning tools and modeling, is expected by fall, said Anthony Flint, the institute's public affairs manager. Flint said he expected New Orleans to be a part of the research, which could have implications for coastal cities.

In addition to the job with the Lincoln Institute, WRNO reported a rumor that Blakely's also accepted a teaching position at UNO. Rob Couhig asked Donna Addkison, chief development officer for planning and development for the City of New Orleans, about Blakely's ability to handle the workload. Addkison neither confirmed nor denied the reported UNO position, but said that Blakely seems a lot like her -- they both get up very early in the morning and go to bed very late at night. It wouldn't surprise her in the least if Blakely could handle such a workload.

The interview can be found on the on demand part of WRNO's website, 7a-8a-1/24/07.

Donna Addkison may ge up early,it is no measure of her effectivness. As far as Blakley goes, what does he hope to accomplish?

He ran for Mayor of Berkley, The City he "saved". He lost. What does that tell you?
Addkison's position is also a new one. It's amazing to me how many new positions a broke city has created. Everybody, including the feds, wants a recovery czar. I don't see the point, not this far along in the planning process, anyway. I'd rather see the money go a fully funded IG or, better yet, an independent outside audit every year. I was trying to withhold judgement on Blakely, because my immediate negative reaction was emotional or intuitive rather than rational.

Aside from any cronyism, it seems the main purpose in creating all these new positions is spread out responsibility to insulate the mayor and council from blame. That seemed obvious when the RTA spent a million that became $1.8M on consultants to tell them how to service the resettled neighborhoods before we decided what neighborhoods to resettle. They basically spent $1.8M (or more) to be able to say, "we didn't cut as much as the experts recommended we cut."

That doesn't explain the $100K position for for a naval base realignment director (or something like that) with a $40-45K (can't remember the exact figure) assistant. All the work of running the facility has been contracted out. I might be oversimplifying, but it sounds like somebody's neer-do-well cousin needs a job and Jim Singleton (or somebody)isn't ready to retire.
I plan on attending a public forum on sustainability and recover in New Orleans tonight (1/27) at UNO at which Blakely will be a speaker, and he is listed as "Recovery Director, City of New Orleans & Visiting Professor, University of New Orleans".
If you check Donna's record she has a tendancy to cut and run. She came to this city because she was offered more money and more power. I'm positive that if you speak to the members of the Chamber Southwest Louisiana you will find that her leadership skills and loyalty are a seriously lacking. She will jump ship on us like she has done in the past take her seamingly wonderfull resume and and play the same scam on another city. We need real leadership here in the City Of New Orleans not another career politician who strives on the limelight.
If you think Addkison cut and run in SW Louisiana check out her record in Mississippi. She went by the name Donna Simmons there and she worked for Musgrove, the Governor who divorced his wife and was was sucking on other women's toes. Check out the news articles on it. That guy was one wierd dude.
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