No one can say the last two weeks in New Orleans have been uneventful.
The Saints broke the team’s Super Bowl drought and their fans beat the NFL in a battle over who owns “Who Dat.” Watergate Junior made national headlines out of the security, or lack thereof, at Hale Boggs Federal Building and Krewe Du Vieux kicked off Carnival parades in earnest.
Yet amid all this, there are a few things The Lens is still waiting for – namely a list of the recovery projects that were delayed because the City Council put off approving a giant capital budget appropriation Jan. 21.
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Cynthia Sylvain-Lear wanted the council to roll forward a list of $600 million worth of unspent capital budget appropriations from 2009 so the administration would not have to wait for a vote this Thursday to start spending for 2010.
“We are pushing hard to get projects out to bid,” she said. “What you are saying is you want us to wait.”
Council members called her bluff and asked which specific projects would be delayed by waiting two weeks. Sylvain-Lear said she didn’t know, that she’d have to get back to them.
The next day, we submitted that same question to city spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett. She has not responded.
One theory is that Saints fever has stricken the administration. Another is that the you’re-delaying-the-recovery line was just another scare tactic from the administration that keeps speaking cryptically about the shadow government.