Saturday, November 03, 2007

Time constraints, blogging and the revised sanitation code

I don't know if most non-bloggers realize how few of us do this for a living. Most of us have full time jobs as well, more or less, full personal lives and make the time to do this when we can. To the best of my knowledge, that's true of every local blogger.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I'll say that I understood that the city council had no choice but to award the ridiculously expensive sanitation contracts last year, in part because it allowed the liar-in-chief (a.k.a. the mayor) and his deputy liar (a.k.a sanitation director Veronica White) to stonewall until it was too late to find an alternative. However, I couldn't figure out why a city council that was so furious at the liar and deputy liar in November, gave them everything they wanted in the sanitation code in April*. Unfortunately, with all the posting that I've done about garbage cans and garbage contracts, I never did the follow-up to what as intended as a preliminary post about the revised code. In the discussion at editor b's, Jeffrey, and some other commenters, are correct that the entire council has some explaining to do*.

However, Jeffrey's flat out wrong to say that the Picayune shouldn't have made an issue of Metro Disposal's campaign contributions to Cynthia Willard-Lewis. Those contributions may not be as relevant as Metro's contributions to Mayor Nagin, as I'll explain in my next post, but they're certainly relevant. If an elected official, especially one who's seeking citywide office, puts the interest of two businesses that contributed to her campaign ahead of the best interests of the city, her conflict of interest should be pointed out. The fact that she's so loyal her to her benefactors that she felt the need to redefine the word "unlimited." Somebody (can't find the reference) referred to it as a case of editorial content seeping into the Picayune's reporting, it seems to have stayed there.

*On a related note, the new provision that buildings with more than four units are not covered by the new contracts is one (there are others) that could prove to be a major problem in the future. The deputy liar claims that that has always been the law, but the provision is, at best, one possible clarification of a previously ambiguous law.

Follow-up question: How long will it conservative bloggers, right wing bloggers, Rush Limbaugh or FOX News to have a heyday with the following?
Couching the budget decision as a strategic maneuver, Nagin said boosting next year's "trash force" line-item to provide for debris collection is a better option because FEMA would be more likely to reimburse the cost of the work than if the city forces Richard's and Metro to do the job.

I'm assuming that they haven't yet.

*corrected 11/25/07, originally typed November instead of April, which made the sentence meaningless.

One way to get some money is to demand that the Incumbent Soprano's amend their contracts to reflect the new city code.

I'd bet there is a provision allowing changes in the event the law changes.

Why is SDT never mentioned in these discussions?
I am guessing that SDT is never mentioned because they work in only dry parts of town.

Not a lot of construction debris.
I'd like to mention SDT as mush as Richards and Metro, because, as a white blogger, I don't like singling out the two black-owned firms and leaving out the white-owned firm. However, in part because the deals were announced so quickly, the two big deals gave the impression of being rigged more than the French Quarter deal. Also, the rewritten law doesn't affect SDT. At least the part of it in this week's news doesn't, the four unit rule does and we could hear about that. Also, I looked and couldn't find Sidney Torres or SDT on the list of either Nagin or CHANGE, inc. donors. Alvin Richards has given money to CHANGE, inc. and both Alvin Richards and Richards Disposal were Nagin donors. I didn't see Jimmie Woods on Nagin's donor list, but Metro wasn't the only company that Woods owned, or had an interest in or partnership that donted to Nagin.

I still wonder if the French Quarter deal is as much of a sweetheart deal as the other two, or if Tores was suckered, or if he was promised other things (City Park?). The French Quarter was certainly the absurd tree that got everybody to take their eyes off the forest -- as I said at the time.
I heard Stacy Head on the radio Friday saying she was going to introduce an ordinance to change the ordinance back to what it was before. She apologized for not reading it and understanding the changes better.
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