Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hold Him to his Own Standards -- Part 2

Not the first follow up I had in mind, but yesterday's paper makes it timely.
"We're going to take whatever nickels we have, whatever pennies we have, whatever dollars we have, and we're going to stretch it, and we're going to make this recovery work,"
Ray Nagin Jan. 15, 2007

Noting that Mayor Ray Nagin's press office has a budget of more than $600,000, Head said the council should use one of its staff members. Midura said she sees no need for a council PR person at all.
Times Picayune Apr. 7, 2007

Nagin also added:
"We're gonna rub every nickel we've got together, stretch every limited dollar, to make this city better, safer, stronger..."

With a budget of well over $700M, $600,000 for the mayor's press office might not seem like much, but much of this years budget is state and federal grants committed to specific rebuilding projects. Nobody would argue that the city has enough money to provide basic services. Since the mayor said that we'd stretch every limited dollar to make the city safer and stronger, I'm sure that he'd be happy to assign a PR person to the city council -- if the savings could be used to make the city safer and stronger. The mayor wouldn't have said it if he didn't mean it.

Last month I wondered how many Nagin spokesmen we were paying for when I noticed that Nagin seems to have a different spokesperson for each day of the week. This doesn't quite answer that question, but it comes close. I suppose the $600K figures demonstrates that the going rate for spokespeople who don't answer questions is higher than for spokespeople who do. Whatever the city's paying people to demand written FOIA requests, I'll do it for less.

Back to yesterday's article, I've said before that the council members, including Head and Midura, seem to vote for any proposal that seems like a good idea without considering whether it's the possible use of the city's limited funds. I seem to have been wrong about Midura and Head, I was obviously right about the rest of the council. It wouldn't surprise me if Carter has somebody in mind for the part time consulting work. Also, it's worth noting that the mayor apparent would rather rebuke a colleague than enforce rules for a crazy woman.

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