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Day 612: Insult Upon Insult From Every Corner

The Army Corps of Engineers & Their Pumps

So, we have the Corps New Orleans District from about November, 2005 until at least June, 2006 acting in internal documents and conversations like they are in love with hydraulic pumps (specifically MWI’s pumps). But they were also receiving messages from other bidders and their own project engineers that there were serious problems with the hydraulic pumps (both on the technical side and on the contracting side) during that same time period. But they still plowed ahead. I think the message finally made it through in June (when the second solicitation was cancelled), but the reassurances to the public still kept coming, even after the disastrous testing in August, 2006 when the pumps nearly shook themselves apart.

Scout analyzes this further and asks a commission-worthy question, “In the first instance it may not have been uncommon to use a contractor’s specs given a rush order but to do it again in June 2006? To do it again? … How do you justify THAT?”

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Education & The “Recovery” School District

There are hundreds of children in New Orleans with stories similar to Hannah’s. Some are even more dramatic and tragic … Last Friday I was in a 5th grade classroom, and the teacher showed me psychological histories of the students. Several of them had witnessed relatives drown in the flood. One girl’s mother drowned while she was holding her mom’s hand as they tried to wade and swim to dry land. It sickens me to think about how my government took a parent away from these kids, and continues to fail them by not giving them a first-rate education … Instead the powers that be claim that charter schools are the answer to all of our education problems in New Orleans.

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ICF & the Louisiana “Recovery” Authority

… I called my Resolution Team Supervisor (my 14th), for days and left messages on what may be his voice mail on the direct line phone # he gave me. The recording answering his extension (?) is an automated recording that says you reached that extension, but the extension has no name for that mailbox.

When I called their Baton Rouge main switchboard, I got the Operator is unavailable.” hen I called the 888 call center, I got we can’t transfer calls.   When I called the automated directory to find my Supervisor“s extension, I got no one by that name works here.  When he finally called me back, he said he doesn’t check his voice mail. 

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City Hall and Sanitation

I opened the conversation by telling [Sandra] that I had called Sanitation (658-3800) about some garbage that had not been picked up in the neighborhood and that the automated system instructed me to call Metro Disposal at 520-8331. I called that number 5 times and kept getting another automated system that requested that I enter the extension of the person I was calling. When I was unable to do that, the system advised that no number had been entered and the system could not be accessed through a telephone without touchtone capabilities. At that point the call was disconnected. I explained that the Sanitation Department should have someone answer the calls.

Sandra proceeded to tell me that (I) need to call (my) councilman. That’s who (I) elected. This is not the mayor“s job.  I then told her that I also wanted to let you know that I had been leaving messages on the Sanitation Department“s automated system for Veronica White asking her to return my call and advising that I wanted to speak with her about addressing our neighborhood association regarding the new trash system. Sandra“s response to this was, Maybe she“s not interested in speaking to your group. I told her that may well be the case, but Ms. White could at least do us the courtesy of having someone call and tell us that and that I thought that was all part of her job.

How much more must New Orleans be insulted and victimized by government and its inability to keep promises?

1 comment… add one
  • racymind May 2, 2007, 8:09 PM

    I guess it’s more than “an inability” to keep promises.

    Government doesn’t want to keep promises and will not keep promises as long as our ‘democracy’ fails to make it a true priority.

    Our expectations of government haven’t been that high in this country. After 8 years of Bush, it may take a generation or two for society to learn government can accomplish anything at all.

    Yeah, I’m feeling a little pessimistic right now.

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