Tuesday, November 25, 2008

That doesn't explain 22% more for mechanized service

White was making the case that despite the higher cost, the city's $31 million budget for sanitation services was justified as compared to Jefferson Parish's $18.5 million budget. She said the city's service is better, and that if the council didn't count the expensive French Quarter trash pick-up, the city's sanitation costs would only be about $24 million.

White also said the added expense was due to the use of garbage trucks with mechanical arms. When Head asked her to explain the benefits of that service, White failed to give a direct answer, and the councilwoman's frustration escalated.

O.K., unlike Ray Nagin, Aaron Broussard didn't stonewall his parish council until he got garbage trucks that go ping. That doesn't explain why Richards Disposal offered Jefferson Parish a significantly lower price for semi-automated garbage collection than it receives from New Orleans. There may well be a legitimate reason why Richards decided it had lower costs when oil was $115 a barrel than it did when oil was $60 a barrel, but I haven't heard it. Without an explanation, it's entirely legitimate to wonder whether Richards Disposal knew that Veronica White was an inept administrator, or if it expected a return on its campaign contributions.

I'll have more on this later, but in a pretty good editorial, the Picayune neglects to mention that Nagin and White successfully stonewalled the city council for weeks until it was left with a choice between no garbage collection or approving the contracts.

If you haven't signed it yet, sign the petition. E's almost reached his goal, I don't know if will continue to accept signatures once it's reached.

Finally, I just couldn't resist:
Mayor Nagin campaigned on making city government more accountable and transparent when he first ran for office. But the opposite impulse seems to be driving his administration now, and that's the real threat to recovery.
Times Picayune 11/25/08

To my way of thinking, it's just one more reason why the Nagin administration's secrecy and general lack of openness must be addressed if the recovery is going to go well. Obviously, there are more important issues to be addressed, insurance and flood protection come to mind, but anyone who comments on New Orleans should consider it a priority to call bullshit on Nagin administration claims of "transparency and accountability" or "openness and accessibility."
Moldy City 8/12/07

No, I'm not so delusional as to think that the Picayune's editorial staff is cribbing from my old blog posts, but it's the kind of thing that bloggers find hard to resist.

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