Wednesday, March 25, 2009

“I can go out and champion against everyone and be unemployed"

WWL did a report on the pathetic state of the city's playgrounds, informing us that the city has spent less than $3 million of the $16 million that FEMA has obligated for playground repairs. There was the usual back-and-forth about whether FEMA or the city is more responsible for that state of affairs -- I'm in no position to judge. The usual pathetic excuse about staff shortages, even though the mayor's personal P.R. budget gets bigger every year -- I'll return to that in my next post. However, the report contained one real eye-opener:
Barabino says his job is to handle NORD programming. He says 10,000 residents are taking part in NORD activities a month, but says that when it comes to facilities, he can only push his boss, Mayor Ray Nagin, so far.

“I can go out and champion against everyone and be unemployed. I have a family. I love doing what I'm doing. For me to go against my superior or employer, where will that leave me?” Barabino asks. “I've sat with Mayor Nagin and expressed my concerns,” he says.*

What is he afraid of?

I believe that it's customary for department heads to be unclassified, at-will employees. However, I have to ask, is it really a good idea for all upper-level NOPL employees to be at-will?

*video link

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