Sunday, April 06, 2008

Priority Budgeting, Jackie?

It's hard to believe that James Carter campaigned as a reformer when he was elected to the city council two years, but he did. His campaign website (no longer online) displayed the slogan, "no more business as usual," and Harry Anderson even proclaimed him an agent of change or a reformer, I can't remember the exact words, in a TV spot*. Now he has the nerve to call Arnie Fielkow a "hypocrite" for wanting to take a closer look at contracts that have been let for years. Apparently, Mr. "no more business as usual" believes that the old way of doing business is the proper way to do business. According to a report in Friday's Picayune, Fielkow even warned Carter in advance that he planned to ask the council to defer the vote to renew $600,000 in consultants' contracts.

However, I'm beginning to wonder if Jackie Clarkson's campaign promises were also hollow posturing. She won my vote when I heard her speak of "priority budgeting" and when I saw her promises about professional services contracts:
However, in the last four years, the City Council has passed several ordinances to coordinate utility companies and city departments.

I have pledged to lead a referendum for a Charter change to mandate that all professional services contracts be brought before a public hearing and be ratified by the City Council.
All contracts should also be approved by an Inspector General.

Now she's apparently more concerned about ending public squabbles that she considers "very embarrassing" to the city council than about her own campaign pledges. A public squabble, that Carter seems to have forced, is embarrassing? What about voting money for cable TV consultants when the city still can't find the money to adequately staff the offices that prevent the wrong houses from being demolished?

Update: A quick check shows that both William Aaron and his law partner, contributed to the Carter campaign. Basile Uddo is listed as a contributor to both Cynthias.

Additional update: Apparently, you need to do make a few clicks of your own.

*For the record, Anderson was no easily-fooled, dilettante celebrity endorser. Before he finally got discouraged and left, Anderson took a more active part in civic affairs than most locals.

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