There was a brief question and answer session following the Powerpoint presentation but Berni informed the group that any questions could be submitted to the City's website where they will be publicly answered in an effort to maintain transparency.Please do not email Michael Flynn about it or the Russians might find out everything. Or, worse, some union workers might find out their labor agreement is about to be busted up.
He also stated a "cone of silence" has been issued for the NOPB staff and Commission through the RFQ process. I have personally tried to contact the KPMG members heading up the evaluation but I got no response via email. I am assuming they are subject to the City's cone of silence as well.
Many of the questions posed surrounded the complicated contracts and labor agreements the NOPB holds with Class 1 railroads, the NOPB union workers and the Port of New Orleans.You can see how sensitive this is. We ask that you not break the cone of silence. Otherwise we can't be responsible the next time the black helicopters show up at your house at 1 AM.
In specific, the labor agreement with the Union was brought up more than once. Berni stated that the City was focused on keeping as many local jobs as possible but that doesn't seem likely if a private company takes over the management of NOPB. The labor agreement seemed to be a point of concern among the prospective buyers, it will almost certainly be on the chopping block if the lease goes through.
NEW ORLEANS - What the NOPD described as U.S. Army military training operations in an area near Poland Avenue rattled some residents of the Bywater early Friday.Yikes. Talk about violating a "cone of silence," right? As for those "attempts to contact" residents, well, yeah, I noticed a press release went out over email this morning. Good looking out, guys.
The NOPD said the exercises will continue through Feb. 17.
"The training involves the use of training simulations and helicopters. This is done at night to simulate environments our troops may encounter in operatons overseas," said a statement from the NOPD.
Residents called Eyewitness News and posted to our Facebook page, reporting loud bangs and sounds that seemed to be of gunfire, along with bright, flashing lights in the early morning after 1 a.m. They said they were not given notice that there would be training exercises.
The NOPD said attempts were made to contact those living nearby.