The solon’s creed: Don’t get paid when you can award a contract to a constituent

The solon’s creed: Don’t get paid when you can award a contract to a constituent

Mayor Ray Nagin: Working hard to ensure that the rebuilding of New Orleans cost the taxpayers as much as possible. We all know the stories that government in New Orleans and Louisiana is rife with corruption and just plain poor leadership. Here’s another illustration, whose accuracy has been vetted by the invaluable Urban Legends Reference Pages.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 50,000 vehicles in the city of New Orleans were left totaled and abandoned. The cleanup of that mess—as part of the total cleanup—is surely a big and expensive job. But lo and behold! A Texas company offered to pay the city $100 per vehicle to cart them away.

On October 2005, K&L Auto Crushers of Tyler, Texas, approached Mayor Nagin with an offer to pay $100 apiece for each flooded, abandoned vehicle it removed from New Orleans and to have emptied the city of such junkers within 15 weeks. (The company would have taken title to the vehicles, crushed them, and sold them for scrap). Given that there were then an estimated 50,000 such vehicles to be removed, had that plan been agreed to, by January or February of 2006 the city would have been both rid of its wrecked car problem and $5 million richer.

Surely Nagin would count his blessings and accept the deal. But no, he turned down that offer and instead opted to pay $23 million to an engineering company to do the same job, a net loss to the taxpayer of $28 million. But we’re not done yet!

Paying more and more

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1 comment
  • The stupidity of politicians never ceases to amaze.  This sounds like something straight out of our Memphis news!