Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Sayings of Veronica White

From an email that some of you may have seen over the weekend:
Quotes from New Orleans Sanitation Director Veronica White at

January 16, 2007, Vieux Carré Commission public hearing

regarding the new trash can/carts

ü “If you don't want it's fine and perfect with me. I'm going to ask that when you submit your exemption letter that you keep your personal feelings to yourself….”

ü “If you would just give me the information that I asked for, I have no problem. Your wish is my command. No problem whatsoever.”

ü “If you don't want it, fine, but don't discourage others.”

ü “No, there won't be a fine.”

ü “I keep hearing you guys using the word force. ‘You're being forced to do this, forced to do that.’ This is not forcing anybody to do anything. This is giving them the opportunity to be exempt. ’…force, force…” I put in my opening statements -- If you don't want it, fine.”

ü “I'm not forcing anyone to do anything.”

The French Quarter group that sent out the email acknowledged that "New Orleans has bigger problems than the controversial trash can/carts" but added that "this has nothing to do with the great clean up efforts that have occurred in the French Quarter. That was accomplished BEFORE the cans!"

Personally, I don't have much interest in the bins aside from the sanitation contracts as a whole, but I don't live The French Quarter or in a building with a narrow alley. More importantly, an article in Saturday's Picayune directly contradicted everything that Ms. White said:
Starting Friday, New Orleans to get tougher on trash

By Michelle Krupa

Starting Friday, Mayor Ray Nagin's administration will begin enforcing strict rules that require residents to use new city-provided trash bins or risk fines and jail time, a move that has been particularly controversial in the French Quarter.


Residents who fail to use the carts, or who break other rules governing disposal of construction debris, lawn waste and bulky items, can expect a written citation and a fine ranging from $150 for the first infraction to $500 for the third violation, according to the ordinance. Offenders who break the same rule three or more times could spend between five and 90 days in jail per infraction.

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