Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Garbage

I've been too busy to do the one final post on the city's sanitation department and garbage collection contracts; I'll have to do it piecemeal over a few posts. Apologies to anyone who's suffering from garbage cart fatigue, but it has been back in the news this week. More importantly, the activities of the Sanitation Department, and the coverage of those dealings, are the clearest example I know of a not so subtle change that's occurred over the last twenty months. After Katrina, there was widespread agreement that we could never go back to the old way of doing things. Now there seems to be tacit agreement that we can never admit that we've gone rushing right back to the same exact old way of doing things. More on this will follow, but everything in this post was a matter of public record, hiding in plain sight.

Yesterday morning as I listened to Tommy Tucker's idiotically repetitive questioning of why "French Quarter residents couldn't just give the cans a chance,"I was struck by the fact that nobody points out the fact that it's entirely the mayor's fault that we're having such a heated discussion now; there should have bee plenty of time for a calm, reasonable discussion either last Summer or this Spring.

I've brought this up before, but I guess I need to draw a map. In late May, when the mayor made his 100 day proposal, he mentioned his plans to divide the city into three garbage collection zones. That seemed innocuous enough at the time, but it now seems clear that he already had at least part of his garbage collection plan in mind. So why did the administration wait another four months to begin to divulge any outlines of the new sanitation plan and much longer to discuss the actual details? Couldn't have been intended to let Veronica White inform the city council that it had no choice but to approve the new contracts, could it?

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