The "house count audit" is supposed to independently determine for the city exactly how many houses are getting trash service - nearly two years after the contracts started. In the public's minds, this would probably involve an outside firm coming into City Hall and poring over the trash companies' address lists. But that's not what this "audit" is about. In fact, it appears this audit is not an audit at all, but simply an elaborate exercise in CYA ....
From what I can gather, GCR is producing some kind of list where they think it is likely folks are receving trash service (not where they know service is received). GBB/GCR calls these addresses "prospective refuse collection points." Then GBB, with their GPS boxes and wireless antennas, seems to be going out on trash collection days and noting who has their cans out, and then tying that into the database.
(Please give E some suggestions as to how to present his petition to remove Veronica White from her sanitation directorate. A combo of sending it to the City Council members and a media blitz on the front steps of City Hall as E presents it to the Mayor's office is a start...and then we all must keep referring to its 568 signatures on a regular basis until she is gone.)
...I have to agree with Cliff's attention to Big Red Cotton's post New Orleans - It Ain't For Everybody, and reprint it here for your consideration:
Okay, so a soon-to-be released survey identifies the 20 cities Americans say they would most want - and least want - to relocate for a job.
Guess which list New Orleans made...
Because the national economy is in the crapper into the unforeseeable future, more Americans will be faced with having to relocate to find work. So this Washington-based professionals organization, The Human Capital Institute, created a survey to help cities determine how to market themselves to attract talented out-of-town workers. They interviewed 2,500 employees and entrepreneurs nationwide who ranked New Orleans as their fourth least favorite pick for places to move to. Amongst our cited ills are population shrinkage, murder rate increase, and post-Katrina tourism industry challenges. The negative attributes rankings were health and safety (55%), image (49%), and environment (45%).
Hmph... Well on behalf of New Orleans, allow me to say that we don't want to be with anyone who doesn't want to be with us. I, for one, am tired of Homogenous Nation's negative opinion of New Orleans. We cannot be everything to everybody, especially imagination-lacking, subdivision beige house loving, mainstream America. We're busting our asses to put this city back together and take it to the next level - it's a GD mission! So if you're not feeling this, move over and let the ones through that DO wanna get with us.
Excuse my tangent folks. I'm just OVER the whole 'image' conversation.
Ironically, the other cities that made the survey's Top Worst List happen to be our sister cities:
New York/New Orleans - Disaster Soul Mates
Detroit/ New Orleans - Chocolate Cities
Los Angeles/New Orleans - Hollywood/Hollywood South
Apparently, the respondents are not so much into catastrophe, flava, or drama. Okay, I get that. Again, this aint for everybody.
The other irony is that our economy is still growing and outperforming the rest of the nation - we're actually ADDING jobs here while the rest of the country is losing jobs. And according to CityBusiness, New Orleans is fast growing as a hot spot in the tech sector. So I have a feeling some of those naysayers are going to be eating their words about us sooner rather than later.
Oh it feels good to be able to say that and actually believe it has a chance in hell of being true...
Anyhoo, I'm filing this after a fabulous Creole Italian dinner and too much wine and song at Vincent's. Now I'm off to catch one of the best live music shows in the country - the Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf, which will be packed as it is every middle-of-the-week Tuesday night. And the night won't end till the band says it ends.
I said it before and I'll say it again: Hell, yes and Amen!