Saturday, October 20, 2007

Not a world class candidate

I suppose I should stop making fun of Kaare Johnson for his overuse of the term "world class," he used it twice in his opening statement in the one televised forum, but not again after that. Still, his campaign has been anything but "world class."

I try to avoid judging a candidate by his website, unless he frequently assures us that details can be found on his website. Johnson loves to refer voters to a website that's long on promises but utterly lacking in detail.

There's no detail about how Kaare would put 100 more cops on the street. I assumed that Johnson was talking about moving 100 cops from desk jobs to patrol duty, now I assume he's just talking. I've heard that about 100 more cops than usual are assigned to administrative duty, but I have no way of knowing. That would certainly seem to be consistent with the fact that about 300 civilian employees were laid off, and civilian employees could be quickly replaced while more cops are recruited and trained. But Johnson just talks about "100 cops in 100 days" without saying where they will come from.

100 civilian employees would be cheaper than 100 cops, if they're paid about the same as city council staffers, the cost would be just under $3.5M* per year. That's not a lot of money, but add it to the $3.5M that Johnson promises for the IG, and I'd like to know where Johnson plans to find the money. He was right to criticize the council to vote to spend $90,000 for a PR person, but he says nothing about the mayor's bloated PR staff.

Of course, the primary reason to vote against Johnson is that he believes that he can cross Perdido Street, spread some fairy dust, and get honest, meaningful answers from the Nagin administration. Boulet seems to be the only candidate who will acknowledge that Nagin does not operate in good faith. Clarkson is distant second choice if you can't vote for Boulet.

*This time last year, the council budgeted $300,000 for nine new staffers. 100 new employees at that rate would work out to $3,333,333.33. BTW, I fully expect to hear that the NOPD doesn't have the manpower for Endymion to return to Mid-city in a couple of months. If any blogger who hasn't asked about the civilian layoffs whines and complains about it, I won't feel the need to make my comments civil.

This is similar ot the Georges commets about reassignig commissioned State Police offices for the GAmblingn secion ot actual police duty.

I think he had a point. What does some on overseeing gambling need to be a commissioned police officer? can't civilian employees do most f that work?

Similarly why are Stat Police guarding Les Miles, can't campus police do just as well?
Johnson never made it totally clear whether he was talking about hiring 100 new officers or getting 100 officers off of desk duty and into patrol duty. I suspect it was the latter, but he should have made that clear. I really wish he made that clear, because I've harping on that for more than a year as an example of a lack of budget priorities. I can understand entering a race that you have little chance of winning, if you're going to change the discussion of the issues or advance a particular issue, but all the minor candidates seemed to be running for vanity reasons.
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