Monday, October 07, 2013

Maybe we should just elect the Water Board

The way this charter change is structured, the process by which one is appointed involves just as much politics. Except, it's a politics of pleasing an elite circle rather than voters.
The proposed reforms would keep the appointment power in the mayor’s hands, but he would have to choose the eight citizen members from candidates proposed by a 10-person nominating committee.

That committee would be made up of the presidents or chancellors of seven local universities and the chairmen of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce and Urban League of Greater New Orleans. 
One ostensible advantage of the reform is that it stipulates that the nominees have some sort of professional expertise. Although, the net is cast so widely there that it becomes meaningless.
The new state law would require for the first time that the board members have experience in presumably relevant fields such as architecture, engineering, finance, law, public health, urban planning, science, construction or business administration.
The main qualification is still pretty much just having the correct friends. 

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