Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weaning from the public teat

Yesterday Inspector General Robert Cerasoli released his report on the Administrative Fleet of the City of New Orleans. Our Mayor was later shown on TV saying he was attempting to wean the city from take home cars. I wonder how many fewer cars there are now compared to 6 years ago? It seems the records were lost in the flood.

Here's a similar situation.

A friend of mine used to run the cable TV system in a major southern city. They determined that employees were misusing their take home vehicles, creating additional liability, costing money and in some cases using company equipment, tools and material for their after work sidelines.

She held group meetings with everyone assigned a take home vehicle and told them the new policy. She took questions and explained the policy. But when one person said "I have a problem". She said "It's been nice working with you".

This car stuff has been going on for many years, far too long. It's improper and we don't have the money for it (in fact we never had it). It's time to end it and end it now.

This new found gradualism is odd for a man of action like our Mayor. He could simply order the changes to be made, like he's ordered so many other things.

He had no trouble arresting all of the workers at the Brake Tag stations. At the time he said ''It is very clear that this type of behavior has been going on for many, many years,''. He had no trouble laying off most of the city employees. “I wish I didn't have to do this. I wish we had the money, the resources to keep these people,” Nagin said. He had no trouble discontinuing sanitation services to the French Quarter. "This will eliminate the enhanced, Disney-like services, such as street sweeping and power washing in the Vieux Carre and downtown areas of the city," Mayor Ray Nagin said in a news conference. According to SDT that move will cost 75 people their jobs.

Let me tell you how to do it. It's very simple. Make a list of the 50 city employees you think should have One Car to take home and tell the other people to bring theirs back, tomorrow. He should start with his second one.


Clifton said...

In this context I agree with everything you said about Ray. I just hope people realize this take home car policy is not new by any stretch.

mominem said...

It's already started in the usual place over at


Why don't we fix the problem and move on.

Schroeder said...

Smack. Down.

Nice touch exposing the man of action myth.

It's worth noting that his history as a middling bureaucrat for a cable monopoly was nothing other than the guy who lobbied for rate increases. He doesn't have the chops for making tough decisions, unless it's revenge.

That might explain why it's easier to offend the City Council than offend his allies he's circled himself with at enormous expense to taxpayers, and the well-being of this city's residents.

In short, I agree with your conclusion that Ray Nagin is a pompous, petulant, little prick.

mominem said...

Schroder - I'm not sure I agree with your conclusions.

I think in the cable business Nagin was a "fixer". He was dispatched to solve political "problems" with the resources of the company behind him. That is speculation, I've looked for his corporate history and can't find much before he showed up here.

It's easy to get politicians to do what you want if you can solve their problems for them.

It's much harder if you don't have a lot to offer and Nagin is now a lame duck. It' pretty obvious he will have little effect on who is successor is.