Sunday, September 30, 2007

Well, I was joking

The cans have been replaced with 500 wrought-iron ones, according to Sanitation Director Veronica White. The new cans were purchased via the city's now-expired contract with Waste Management of Louisiana, which acquired them through a vendor, Guillot's Sanitary Supplies, White said.

The city did not go through a bid process, she said. The cans cost $670 apiece. White said she will buy 500 more if the City Council puts sufficient money in her budget.
Times Picayune on Saturday

But they cited a familiar complaint about life as a New Orleans prosecutor: The salary increases cannot make up for the frustration of working under constant pressure with almost no support staff to help with menial tasks.

Prosecutors say the amount of time they spend on necessary clerical chores eats up hours every day, a problem Jordan recently acknowledged when he asked the City Council for $135,000 to hire 15 more secretaries through the end of the year. Jordan made the request Sept. 12, but it remains unclear when or if help will arrive, as the City Council's Budget Committee probably will not even begin considering the request until the end of October.

Carter said the council likely will find some money to help the office get more clerical workers.
Times Picayune on Sunday

In the last post, I was joking about the mayor wanting to replace the old garbage cans to remove the temptation presented by the empty advertising space. Unfortunately, our city officials aren't. They would seriously consider spending more money to replace perfectly good garbage cans than it would cost to pay for an adequate support staff for the D.A.'s office for a year, just because the mayor doesn't like the old ones. It's hard to say which is funniest, the fact that the city council already approved one purchase of new garbage cans, the fact that the mayor's office has the audacity to make a second such request, or the fact that the council seems to take the sanitation department's request as seriously as the request from the D.A.'s office.

The front page of Monday's paper had articles about both the problems in the D.A.'s office and the city council election. I thought about a post suggesting a connection, guess I just posted it.

So if anybody knows Lee Zurik, please suggest that he ask a question about the garbage cans and/or the D.A.'s office Thursday night (h/t Adrastos). Or he could ask the candidate if they think that the council is operating according to Cynthia Hedge-Morrell's professed governing principle:
Hedge-Morrell said the key question in considering each request was, “Is this vital to move this city forward post-Katrina?”

The embarrassing question for Cynthia Williard-Lewis should be obvious.

There's more on the garbage cans at Library Chronicles, but the badinage between bloggers isn't as funny as the serious statements from city officials. No offense intended guys.

Wait till Eddie the Hat asks The City to pay for his legal judgment.
The judgment is against the D.A.'s office, so the city will be on the hook. I've deliberately concentrated on the relatively small ticket items -- both in terms of waste and in ways the money could be better spent, because the right decisions would have been so easy to make. If the city council would rather spend money on toilet seat cushions, garbage cans that don't offend the mayor's sensibilities and across-the-board pay raises that include the six-figure positions that already got separate pay raises than on clerical staff in the D.A.'s office, I don't know how it's going to pay for some of the really expensive items in the near future. In addition to two big law suits, they don't seem to be prepared to pay for a larger police force. I don't know how the city's going to pay for repairs to the sewerage and water system, but everybody in city government seems to be operating on the assumption that the feds will pay for everything.
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