Sunday, December 14, 2008

Déjà vu

"I'm just scratching my head. It doesn't make sense to throw away this asset," said Bill Settoon, the board's vice chairman, who has told the mayor's staff that he is willing to let Tetlow serve the three years left on his term.
Tetlow, a Tulane University law professor appointed to a partial term by Mayor Marc Morial in 1999, will be replaced as soon as the City Council approves Nagin's recommended replacement, musician Irvin Mayfield.
September 2, 2006

"There is nobody I know of on this committee whose heart has been more into this work than Paul West, who has given up more than Paul West," said Rob Couhig, a lawyer and talk-radio host. "I will always thank the mayor for appointing me so I got to know him."

BP American executive Karl Connor offered a slightly more caustic appreciation.

"I thought about resigning because Paul is being taken off this board," he said. "This is the most insane switch of a person that I've ever seen.
The new members are the Rev. Vien Nguyen, pastor of Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in eastern New Orleans, to replace James Gray III; Ellen Lee, interim president of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, to replace Wayne Woods; and trumpet virtuoso and New Orleans Library Board Chairman Irvin Mayfield to replace West.
December 13, 2008

For the record, I've heard nothing but praise for the job that Mayfield is doing on the library board, but that has nothing to do with the doubts and suspicions that I've raised in the past. The question wasn't why Nagin wanted Mayfield on the board -- Ike Spears was already a member. The question was, what was his real motivation for getting rid of Tania Tetlow? The reason he gave couldn't pass any kind of smell test.

In a marginally related note, I just heard Brian Brox tell Norman Robinson that the city council has to share the blame for the breakdown of communications with the mayor. Hey Dr. Brox, get your nose out of your academic text books and start paying attention to the actual city that you live in. The mayor would rather break the law than share information. Go back and read the newspaper accounts from two years ago, the council assumed the mayor was acting in good faith and how'd that work out for us? He stonewalled the council until it had no choice but to approve sanitation contracts that the city can't afford. Don't give us that fucking "takes two sides to have a fight" kindergarten teacher shit. "You have to stand up to a bully," is the more appropriate childhood lesson here.

The Mayfield connection solidifies a theory I've had for some time. Ray is lookin' to go Hollywood after this gig is over.
I heard a rumor that Brad Pitt turned it down.

Seriously, I don't think it's a joke. I think there's a place for laymen on all the city's boards, but the same layman on one board that's still very important (at least for now) and one that has the opportunity to waste tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars is ridiculous -- especially when that layman is spread thinner than Ed Blakely:

Preparing "All the Saints" is not the only endeavor on the multitasking Mayfield's mind these days. He is a member of numerous boards, including the New Orleans Public Library 's. This summer, he was named artistic director for the acclaimed Minnesota Orchestra's "Jazz at Orchestra Hall" series.

I'm not saying Mayfield is in on anything, just that there's no way he can be on top of things enough to oppose any harebrained, or corrupt, schemes of the mayor's.

There are also some weird personnel moves going on at NOPL, but I don't think the fact the board replaced the city librarian that was brought in after a national search last year with a political appointee is necessarily evidence of corruption.
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