Saturday, February 10, 2007

Well, You Know Man,

It just seems like whenever the mayor tries to do anything good to help the city, people start raising all these questions, but you know that's getting caught up in post-election politics.

I'll leave the Nagin imitations to Adrastos, but you should read Dambala's post about cronyism and the crime camera contracts. However, assuming the story pans out, I wouldn't expect a lasting impact. If the story has merit, a front page story will be unavoidable. However, when Nagin whines about being a victim, Jarvis DeBerry will most assuredly not write an indignant column. We will see a wrist-slapping editorial, but it will avoid even questioning the mayor's integrity. who knows, James gill might even write another column comparing Greg Meffert to Jack Lemmon. Oh, it was Tony Curtis. I thought The Apartment would have been the better Billy Wilder allusion if gill wanted to make Meffert seem synpathetic, but that would have put Nagin in the role of the heel played by Fred MacMurray.

Movie allusions aside, it won't be long before the writers at The Picayune assume their usual positions regarding the Nagin administration and we start receiving glowing about the effectiveness of the crime cameras. Exploiting the crime situation is certainly more ghoulish than exploiting sanitation contracts, but I expect the end result to be the same. The constant talk about how clean The Quarter is makes me wonder if anybody in the city remembers Henry IV from college. Well, they do say that it looks cleaner than ever, not just cleaner than it has since Katrina, so the "sun behind the clouds" effect only goes so far. The cleanliness of The French Quarter was never the main issue, neither was the feasibility of the automated garbage trucks in the rest of the city. Nobody in the media ever mentioned that the two fattest contracts went to Nagin campaign supporters, despite the fact that nagin made campaign contributions an issue. And everybody seems to have forgotten that fat sanitation contracts that will be a financial drain for eleven years were forced down the city council's throat. An expensive SUV might be an upgrade over your Yugo, it's still not a wise idea to commit to a bigger car note and higher gasoline costs when you're having trouble paying your house note. To carry that analogy forward a little further, if a husband did that behind his wife's back, she wouldn't forget about it as fast as we've forgotten about the garbage games. I don't care how nice that SUV turned out to be. At any rate, Yachtgate now seems like a distant memory. If the administration can make the effectiveness of the crime cameras the issue, expect the same result.

Note 2/11/07: The above was written yesterday afternoon, but I decided to pull it until I saw whether there was any reaction to Dambala's post. There was one comment worth noting:
Anonymous said...

Sounds like sour grapes to me...check the City of New Orleans website...looks like the City is bidding the contract.

Hmmm, I wonder why. Probably because the current vendor isn't doing the job. Or perhaps they are ripping the City a new asshole with their prices (remember, technology gets cheaper as time goes by). I suspect both.

Looks like whomever gets the lowest bid will win. Is it just me or isn't this good for the City?????

I looked at the city website and couldn't find it. You do need to register as a vendor to access the purchasing portal. That might be understandable, but it doesn't do much for transparency. I can't think of any reason why every resident shouldn't be able to see every contract that the city has up for bid. It could just be that I didn't look in the right place. At any rate, the above analysis is valid in general. Today's joke of a front page story mentioned the praise that the garbage contracts have received since taking effect. If critics don't stay on focus, it's a pretty easy to change the subject.

You're so right about today's front page story being a complete joke. I especially hated the editorailzing which said Nagin "correctly" is not to blame for the lack of Cat 5 levee protection. I'm sorry, but when Nagin goes on 60 Minutes, knocks on a levee wall, and says something to the effect of "Man, nothing's getting through this" is clearly part of the problem of why the nation feels no urgency to build a Cat 5 levee system.
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