I was amused and somewhat surprised to see an ad for MWH on Nola.com's homepage this moring...here is the link:
As I've stated on this blog before, I do not question MWH's competency in the majority of the services they've provided for the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They were basically running our city government up until the final departure of the Naginites. But here's the thing, our recovery from Katrina is over, we can't continue to sub our basic city services out to a private company, it's time to cut the umbilical cord and get back to running the show ourselves.
While MWH did perform herculean tasks in the wake of the storm, they have also sent us herculean bills. Bills which we have yet to pay, mind you.
Remember when city experts we're trying to gauge how much money the city will owe when the Landrieu administration took over? The estimate was like $20 million. Well, I have it under good authority that the outstanding bill we have with MWH is in the neighborhood of $47 million.
So I'm somewhat bewildered to see this ad because I'm not quite sure to whom it's directed. I would have to assume the new administration, but I'm having trouble believing that the new administration would continue to contract MWH, unless they are lobbying to continue to handle LRA/D-CDBG projects. I'm certainly not opposed to that but my concern lies in our ability to separate MWH from standard city services which we need to be performing out of our annual operating budget (even though it's probably depleted or near depleted...thanks, Ray).
It's like separating Master from Blaster in Bartertown. They ingrained themselves so deeply in our standard city services, we became crack addicts. We have to sober up and learn to run our own life now.
I'm not dissing MWH's performance, I'm just saying we can't afford to hire them to run our city, and we shouldn't have to do that in the first place.
If they're lobbying to continue to manage the LRA/D-CDBG projects, well that's cool, but we seriously need to separate them from our annual operating procedures.