Thursday, July 24, 2008

I (STILL) Don't NOAH Nuthin

We got your post-NOAH hearing coverage right here at We Could Be Famous!

Yesterday at the Mayor's embarrassing press conference, Council President Jackie Clarkson promised to get to the bottom of what was going on with this NOAH "misunderstanding" at hearings scheduled for earlier today.

Apparently the meeting turned quite contentious and we've plenty of new questions to accompany the few and far between answers.

Is it true that Shelley and Arnie walked out? What comments provoked that?

Did Tonya "Lost the Key" Durden testify?

Did former NOAH executive director Stacey Jackson turn on the water works?

Is it true that a giant marshmallow threatens to sweeten the whole city?

Send us your account and the WCBF staff will straighten out fact from fiction.

This came from an anonymous city official who was present at today's hearing:

I'm about to vomit. We were told that the first list was wrong, that everything is perfect, there were no mistakes and that the people deserving of the services actually got them. When confronted with documentation and facts, including websites and prior testimony, they offered non-answers. The meeting was cut short because of a delay caused by a long criminal justice committee meeting.


Well that certainly restores your faith in last night's promise by Mayor Nagin to sort all this out. You've got to love when a sentence from a city official exasperatingly begins "[w]hen confronted with documentation and facts..."

These guys really do take advice from Karl Rove.

*****ANONYMOUS EMAIL UPDATE*****

The following is a detailed account of today's hearing from an anonymous guest of New Orleans that's inexplicably taken an interest in the NOAH scandal. I took the liberty of elongating names that were made shorthand in the original email for the purpose of clarity and deleted one paragraph that deviated from the describing the hearing itself. This perspective is especially interesting because this individual's status as an outsider helps shape a common-sense analysis that we may sometimes lose sight of locally.


The entire testimony centered around a number of "lists" provided by Noah and the city. The first list, requested by Stacy Head of properties which had been remediated, had 1155 properties with dollar values for the services rendered. The second list, provided by the city, had "870" properties. Tony Faciane {from the office of Recovery and Development} kept insisting that the first list was an "intake" list of all the properties. NOAH had a related story, insisting that they checked properties that were phoned to them, took measurements, then passed along a number of those properties to non-profits for gutting.

At the March hearing Stacey Jackson (former Executive Director) had testified that roughly 2.5 million (of 3.6 in their contract) had been spent by NOAH on roughly 1200 homes. Tony Faciane. insisted those numbers are 1.8 million and 870 properties. Even that list isn't perfect, there were rumors and accusations that the "list that counts" included properties recorded as being gutted more than once, as well as addresses that don't exist.

--

The meeting itself turned into a 3-ring circus. Stacey Jackson showed up to testify. She got about one sentence in before crying at the podium, and left to an ovation from the audience.

Council President Jacquelyn Clarkson, who seemed more interested in keeping everybody happy doing any real investigating, delivered an apology to Stacey Jackson saying the council hadn't meant to criticize her work. Stacy Head interrupted to say that she had meant to accuse NOAH of impropriety, saying that either she was given false documents or their was something "more sinister" going on. To Stacy Head's credit, she had, by far, the best grasp on the issue.

Shelly Midura followed this exchange by lowering the boom on, well, everyone. First she blasted the audience for applauding Stacey Jackson, saying they should be more supportive of representatives trying to represent them and look after their tax dollars. Then she blasted NOAH for not giving accurate documents. She ended by blasting the council by saying they never seemed to get the right person to speak in front of the council, and the people with the answers were never there. All this at full voice yelling into the microphone.

By this point City Council President Jacquelyn Clarkson had lost complete control of the meeting. She kept trying to insist that she had put this on the agenda to discuss whether or not the federal money was being used correctly, and that the 300 "other" properties could be figured out later. She then took the rest of the time (already cut short because of the late start) to defend her own job as President, saying she had just received the job of President and patting herself on the back for getting NOAH people in on such short notice.

Stacy Head called her on it, saying that she had provided NOAH documents to Councilwoman Clarkson a month ago and Clarkson had done nothing about it. The council meeting ended with council members bickering and promising to continue the "investigation" next week.

__

Thanks for listening, use whatever you find interesting.

How about that?

Pretty revealing description.

Sounds like Jackie Clarkson isn't anywhere close to being as engaged as she needs to be.

--

*****LEE ZURIK UPDATE*****

Video link!

--

*****Anonymous E-Mail*****

This is from the same high ranking city official:

Testimony yesterday was unequivocal that “870 PROPERTIES” were remediated. Then, Sara spoke and noted that there were MANY duplications, thus the number of “properties remediated” was actually much less than 870. At that point, the crawfishing began again and the administration said, well we meant “870 SERVICES” were provided, sometimes to the same properties several times.

And we'll see what kind of services were provided, won't we?

--

I'll keep updating this as I'll (hopefully) receive more firsthand reports. I'll also be linking to accounts that pop up on other blogs. And PLEASE click the NOAH tag for all the background info you'd need in order to impress your friends with your NOAHledge.

10 comments:

alli said...

I think the real question here is, how long until you run out of NOAH-related puns to title your posts?

Anonymous said...

I wanna NOAH more..

E said...

I was wondering when I'd finally get media coverage for my NOAH post titles. I'm racing with David Winkler-Schmit.

jeffrey said...

I just retitled my latest post "NOAH knowns and NOAH unknowns" so.. you know... PWNED!

jeffrey said...

In this morning's T-P Michelle Krupa seems to take the line that the lists were confusing as a result of the dynamic nature of processing applicants. But since only about $1.8 million was spent, that could match up reasonably with the final list 870 homes that were remediated. Although there may be some inconsistencies, you're dealing with a much smaller amount of money by that point and it's in a territory where it looks a great deal less "sinister" to borrow a word from the ever-shrill Stacy Head.

G-FUNK said...

"YO! I got sources like a journalist. You know they can't handle-it. I have NOLA resi-dency but I seek the Presi-dency. The Mayor tries to scold me but y'all know he'll never hold me."

After reading a few of your post, I have no doubt that we would have few agreements politically.

However...the tagline above is ILL!!! So much love from a hip-hop loving conservative.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Was that your take on Krupa's story, Jeffrey? Frankly, I didn't know to make of it. I alternated between being mad at her for being so clueless and feeling sorry for her because she must have been to pull her punches. I guess the "NOAH nothing" pun could be applied to a lot of people.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Great work, BTW. But I'm getting impatient for the name of that church, if I found out it's something like Third Shiloh, or Coleman's church, or Wardsworth's church or the church of any other politically active minister who also gets involved in business deals and/or holds appointed office, I might ask why you didn't share it sooner. Can't help but wonder if the noise makers came from that church.

E said...

Sorry BJSD, you'll have to give me another day with the Church name.

I can assure you it's none of those.

I also think you're misreading the role of the churches and the chorus at City Hall.

I think the Churches and other volunteer orgs were unwitting players in this.

And as for ugliness at City Hall... an inside job.

bayoustjohndavid said...

They could be, but politically active ministers have helped provide crowds in the past. I don't distrust all politically active ministers, just the business owners, office holders, and the ministers who exercise too much direct influence. Hard to describe exactly what I mean by the last one.