Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Let the angling begin


City Councilmember owed thousands in sanitation fees

Perfect timing for this story.  CHM seems to have her sights set on filling the vacant Council-at-Large position left by Arnie Fielkow's exit and I've heard Mayor Landrieu is in her corner.

Of all the potential candidates to fill this spot, I really hope it's not Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.  This office is too important to take lightly and it is an office, not an appointed staff position.  In fact, I don't like the idea of the mayor endorsing any candidate for that position.  It's just not kosher.  I'm not suggesting that council members should be hostile to the mayor's admin. or agenda but they definitely shouldn't be chummy either.  That's just not healthy for the my humble opinion.

Having said that, here are some names I would like to see thrown into the pot.

1. Norman Francis - It's time.  If he won't volunteer we need to draft him...hold him hostage until he agrees to run.  Xavier is the best kept secret in the city and Francis has been at the helm for 4 decades.  This city needs that level of leadership.  At the very least I think he should be named to the interim position....then maybe we can just ignore the city charter and tell him he has to stay.  It looks like there's a move to ignore the charter anyway.      

2.  James Perry - James' qualities are somewhat the opposite of Francis, he's a young gun but smart as hell and I think that would be refreshing for this city.  I'd love to see him get a shot.

3.  Caroline Fayard - I'm mixed about this one because I'd rather see her take a state office than a city office.  I think she's the best thing....maybe the last thing....the LA dems have going and taking a city office may hurt her chances of winning a larger state office.  Still, I think she'd be a good candidate.

4.  Shelley Midura - Yup.  I'm serious.  I think she served District A well but she just got burnt out.  Maybe she's rested, tan and ready to go.


5.  Sandra "18 Wheeler" Hester - Oh hell yes!  We could sell tickets to city council meetings....and I'm giddy just thinking about a Clarkson v. Hester smack down in council chambers.

6.  DJ Soul Sistah or Kermit Ruffins - I've said it before and I'll say it one brings more New Orleanians together under the same roof and makes them feel better than those two.  Just think, every council meeting would start with, "All Aboard!!!"

7.  Jay Batt - Ha.  I wish they would publish that new sarcasm font.

8.  John Georges - Ha ha ha...I wish they would publish that new apeshit, megalomaniac font.

OK....I'm all ears.  Who are you guys thinking?



Anonymous said...

Roy A. Glapion being considered for the interim position. CWL would like to come back and give CHM a run for her money like CWL is getting now from CHM's son. Any of that would leave the council with still no leadership.

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, the interim member will not be the permanent member.

CHM wants to run in the election, just as Stacy Head does. This election is likely to be in the spring, although Head wants it to happen November-December (primary-general)

The other candidates you mention would be good interim members, especially James Perry. This person would only serve until the new person was elected.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see James Perry win it; I think he'd have a good chance if he runs for it. I think Midura's heart was in the right place, but she only did a good job for a while...her efficacy dropped dramatically as she burned out. If she doesn't have thick enough skin to survive a term as District A rep without going all crispy, how the hell is she going to survive an At-Large term?

Jason Brad Berry said...

I understand the interim member will not be the permanent member. I was joking that we could just ignore the charter because technically, Head is right....the charter states that election should be held sooner.

And I don't think Head has her sights on this position, I think people are wrong about that but maybe I'm wrong.

The people I mentioned would be good period...not just interim. CWL is teetering on the edge of being the next RGP, if she runs that is going to come out and ugliness will ensue. If she thinks she can bypass that, I'd be interested to see how she does it.'

Midura....I don't understand Anon 3 statement that she was only good until she burned out. I think she hung in to the end and most importantly maintained her integrity until the end. She was going through some personal challenges because the rest of her family had moved but if her house is now in order and she's ready to come back, I think she would be a great candidate.

I still think Norman Francis should be drafted. He would be the best thing that could happen for this city. That's just my two cents.

Jason Brad Berry said...

- I was joking that we could just ignore the charter because technically, Head is right....the charter states that election should be held sooner.

I was pointing out that we were ignoring the charter anyway.

bruthas_back said...

if you don't want someone who's going to be too chummy with the mayor then Francis is the wrong guy. remember the "national" search for a police "chief". IMO francis would just be a rubber stamp for landrieu. But i guess as long as it doesn't turn into a political race war we should consider ourselves lucky.

Anonymous said...

The few times I have heard James Perry speak, he seemed meek. He doesn't strike me as someone who has the heart to get down and dirty in the minutiae of City Hall operations. But maybe that is what's needed for an at-large position and it would be great to have his voice on the council.

Does Fayard even live in New Orleans?

With this administration, we need someone who is not afraid to call out Landrieu and his cronies out on their bullshit. You need someone who is not afraid to get deep into the budget numbers and yell when they find the lies. Most (like 6) of the council is lost in smoke and mirrors right now. You know what that means? Head has to run.

jeffrey said...

I agree, IMHO, Francis would just be another Mitchite

Jason Brad Berry said...

Disagree on :

Francis - he would not be a Michite.

Perry - I think he's got what it takes

Agree on:

Stacy H. but I'm not sure she wants the position.

I totally agree about dissecting the budget...we need somebody in that position who is going pick it apart.

All I know is that the CHM is not the answer. She wouldn't glance at the budget much less question it.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I don't think I would be a good politician. I think my son would be but not me.

I'm old and washed up. There are people I'd just as soon hit in the mouth rather than talk to...and that list seems to grow by the day. I don't think I have the civility left in me to be a good public servant or peacemaker.

However, I'm always amazed at my son's ability to diffuse conflict and bring people together. I've watched him do it on playgrounds since he was 4/5 and he's only gotten better at it. I'm in awe of that talent. I just don't have it in me...that's not the cloth I was cut from. I'm much better on the edge than I am in the center.

Clay said...

Isn't there a rumor going around that Peggy Wilson wants the seat?

Anonymous said...

James Perry "smart as hell"? That's a joke, right? Have you met the man and talked to him? Suspect you haven't.

Perry's an affable guy and I think his heart's in the right place, but no, he's not "smart as hell." In fact, I'd say he's not even bright. More of a dim bulb.

How else do you explain a law school graduate who couldn't pass the bar? How about those 180 tickets plus several arrests that came out when he ran for state Rep? Again, not exactly a signifier of great intelligence if you can't manage the basics.

Aside from that, I don't think Perry's ever held a real job in the for-profit private sector--what does that tell you about his ability to make way in the real world?

Jason Brad Berry said...

I have met James and I have always found him to be bright. I don't know what you're talking about...maybe you haven't met him in person.

Peggy Wilson wants to run, Clay? As my mom used to tell me when I was kid and would beg her for something, "People in hell want ice water, son." Peggy Wilson has about as much chance of winning that seat as I do.

Hey I owe you a drink tonight my friend....see ya there!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I've met him in person a bunch of times. So I suspect I have a better perspective.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Well I suppose we can chalk it up as a difference of opinion.

Anonymous said...

I notice you didn't want to touch the point about not passing the bar or the 180 tickets.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Or how about I don't give a shit about the tickets and I was not aware he did not pass the bar, nor do I believe that is necessarily the measure of man's intelligence quotient.

The tickets are not that big of an issue, he lost against Helena Moreno in his last venture and she got plastered at Fat Harry's and ran her car into a parked car on St. Charles and got it all brushed under the rug. Personally, I don't really care about either one's transgressions as much as I care about one of them being able to make the problem disappear.

As far as not passing the bar...I didn't know that but I still don't think it's a measure of the job he could do. During the mortgage and conveyance crash everyone pointed the finger at Tynia Landry (Civil Court IT dir.) because she had a degree from Phoenix University. After I met with, interviewed her, read 3 years worth of emails in her role in the job, I realized she was very competent and the problem was with the dumbass Judges who were trying to manipulate the system to their own advantage. They have law degrees, she doesn't....I still think she's smarter than some of them.

You don't like Perry, I get it. I'm not going to debate James Perry's IQ level with you, though. I've never played Words with Friends or anything with him, but if you're looking for a pissing contest you can challenge me, I'm Dambala on WwF.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Perry seemed less than ready for prime time during the last go around. The one in which somebody forgot to print and put up the signs, evidently. Then, the traffic tickets and all that the inordinate amount speaks to...1) He's sloppy. or 2) He's a Hedge-Morell wannabe. Perry can talk a good game, but get serious.

frog said...

I agree with you, and I agree with your ranking, except I would list only 3, deleting Caroline Fayard for the reasons you cite.

Norman Francis would be a great choice. I do think Ms Midura should come back to Public Service soon.
I only met James Perry once, but he carried himself well. He is married to a very brilliant woman, now a professor at Tulane, and I hardly think she would have married a dim bulb.

Anonymous said...

Norman Francis I agree, James Perry, please, Midura not strong enough!

Anonymous said...

re: "You don't like Perry, I get it."


As I mentioned in my first comment, "Perry's an affable guy and I think his heart's in the right place." That's not something you say about someone you don't like.

I find Perry very likable, but not particularly smart. All of my comments spring from disagreement with your initial contention that he's "smart as hell."

Re: passing the bar. When your current job (Fair Housing Action Center) involves lots of litigation, it doesn't look too good that the big chief of the organization wasn't able to become a lawyer.

Also, during the mayoral campaign, I recall Perry saying (quoted in TP) that he was making $85k but "barely getting by." The combination of those two statements suggest very poor financial management skills.

Frolic said...

Re Perry and bar (and I know I'm late to this party)

From what I remember, the news reports said that he didn't take the bar, not that he failed it.

It's certainly possible that he was found to lack the "moral character" to sit for the bar exam.

He had at least a dozen, if I remember, contempt of court citations. He breezily dismissed this as payment schedules that he failed to meet. But ignoring repeatedly the orders of a judge sounds like something that ought to disqualify you from practicing law.

I was surprised that no one in media (as far as I know) asked Perry why he didn't take the bar.

Clearly Perry made some very bad, immature decisions in the past (driving without insurance, contempt of court, etc.). He's paid a price for them. It torpedoed his second campaign and there's a possibility that it's the reason he's not making full use of his law degree.

Personally, I'd be willing to give him another look, because he was impressive in the mayoral race and he seems to do a lot of good work with his housing organization. But it would still be a hard sell for me to vote for him.