Is residency requirement hobbling SWBNO efforts?

Newell Normand
Tuesday, August 14th
Newell talks to New Orleans City Councilman Joe Giarrusso about the struggles the Sewerage and Water Board faces in hiring good people

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome back end and in this hour we're going to be talking about. The sewerage and water board there's a class action lawsuit that's been filed against a sewerage and water board for property damages and a number of council persons have weighed in. Also there's been a residency requirement. In light of the fact that they are have had difficulty in trying to hire enough. Folks to read meters to work in the field and to work. Within the office itself it kind of makes you wonder as to whether or not that is the most appropriate way to go about this and one of the council persons such trying to address that issue is new wants city councilman George Rousseau welcome to the show Joseph. Pay no good talking again. So tell us about a think you have introduced something to waive this residency requirement or do away with the residency requirement as a relates to sewage and water board. Yes those when we borrow long whether it's mutual report and today we got from the series of questions and one of them was about as residency an impediment. Q your hiring practices and and really don't numbers mule or are literally staggering if you look at it. As we sit here for so whatever she's. More than five point heard the day conceive. And the past two years the board has hired 574. New pull. So almost as fast as they can hire somebody somebody complete its. Well almost 20% of the employees. 22 more report right now are eligible for our. So that you could lose another significant portion of your work force an entity 3% of the workforce has fewer than five years of the spear that's. Overweight he said 53%. 53%. Of the workforce has fewer than some odd years of experience. So you have a cascading series of problems you have people who were leaving for variety of reasons. You have. A workforce that has been on the job for a long time in Canada are to retirement. Right now they wanted to. And then you have slightly more than half of the work force he's been on the job for west and auditors. So will we know we saw this large of a problem we about it Suu Kyi water board has. We want to put handcuffs off and let it do everything that became. To try and rectify our personal situations. And it won again that foam people dying. It's difficult. Ball below here to still live in Orleans parish. And work here. To having people who have more experience from shopper and in the the age old social and Pierce's. It will work here. And and likely now because of parliament the apartment as well. Finding people who normally have become spear at the requisite experience to sell promote the real specific distance to campus. Further department it. Joseph you know. I don't mean to kind of add fuel lit afire but having managed you know 15100 member organization in knowing a little bit about attrition rates and and personnel offices and manage one or number of years. That this. Huge on this award bigger than us. I mean they're in trouble. Permanent employment standpoint. It's tremendous. And the I guess the silver lining to the degree is that. You've had agreed for different leadership teams and a different year we are born to get the news executive director. Are beginning September 4 right after Labor Day. This person who I've met with the news that the first challenge coming and is fixing culture. In addressing. The people more allergies and restoring credibility to the system. But frankly part of the problem that happening it is he don't have enough meter per you don't have enough people. Fixing bills you don't have enough people. To do you all of the jobs being and when you people pleasing people to compounded problems it beat Corey teach holes and you do this from your days. Lauding the sheriff's department you can take somebody he trained and they've worked a long time. It's hard to replace somebody like that automatically. So think about for example. The people who worked on the billing issues to foreign assistant who understand works in the get frustrated. Find a better job I have to work fewer hours whatever it is. You lose all credit to some college money walking out the door. When we wanna try and make sure. While we're trying to craft shoot to waterboarding helped them get where they are that we give them all the tools and cute daisy to be successful. We know Joseph when you looking at this kind of jumble line of this problem here it really. Begs outsourcing some of these disciplines. And I know that's going to be contrary to the prevailing thought a civil service and getting that approved in the civil service sports. Yeah I think it's I think it will be contrary to what's going on I do you think well. You know one of the pieces that that does happened is there are some functions. That. Services regularly outsource right and you said at the top of this. Excitement that. There's disputes with a boat. Cases in court right now what they have outside workers who handle this and you have outside accountants. So hard that thing I think we ought to be looking at it is. There's areas where we know there's revenue generating problems. And how can we decent smarter things that they access and media means taking. The accounting firm. That you're using right now. That you have under contract and using them to help you with some of your revenue problems but also think that involve concrete solutions one of the things. The new deck instructor and I can Tora. Bora is in the U Steve mentioned on the issue last time Jefferson perish. On this collection of water to drainage happens every other instead of every single. Maybe for certain accounts for people who can afford to pay for commercial customers. We say well we'll let you pay your retrieval if you want to. And that way it is that agencies some relief and they can. Use their people that do actually read all the meters instead of relying too heavily on estimation that wrong. Yeah you know I mean I continue the here and I'm sure you do to the anecdotal stories just recently the other day. Of a person. New house files. They've lived there for months still don't have a bill. Yes we have they're 9000. Of those accounts right now. And that's one of our frustration loses there's the wire there are so many wise to take so much time. And and on the other end of the spectrum I have a constituent. Two would call on the entire month of July and came home to a point 700 dollar water bill. It's it's not possible. Comments and so while there working to address some of these species. They're still many holes that need to be seldom wanna make sure. Giving them all the the resources and people they need to start trusting them more topical west. And injured had it it. Insult to injury you know this the class action lawsuit is gonna service they can huge distraction as to kind of getting back on rails here. And then and move in this train along. You know and knows that. They're going to be riddled with. Pretrial motions discovery request. When you search stressed to the Max already. On your back room operations. Of this organization. This can't be anything positive. It's not look I'm a lawyer how I like lawyers to do OK but this is was as instances where the lawyers shouldn't be the one making the money. And you rightfully point out. This is a class action now on the August 2017 claims. But there's other claims particularly councilman herb Williams was asking about the last hearing involving feel. Where there's a judgment now certain homeowners. And huge water board rather than having these Bellwether player that's come through to go to trial understand what they're damages or. Six some model that says art we're gonna work on making these claims school lots about term pain animal indeed time is the Lang. And it it it does a couple different things number one it'll increases are legal call those don't go away. And number two on and it really works unfairness to the people who were hurt poor delayed and receiving their money and you know take it battle with the system and how it's not working for them and they feel like as a rate Payer mine mine a my opponent being taken care of and I'm not being treated right fairly. Yeah I mean when you put the comets that the combination. Of a poorly run revenue cycle and then you have these extraordinary. Liabilities and or cost that that are hitting at the same time. This is so horrible jumble -- and I'm not sure there's enough necks in the call to call on this now. Well the and a well the hope is that with the news and to sell them and wolf the night. It's reasonable and I think what you're giving voice to this what we hear from people in the community all the time. I did the neighborhood meetings almost every single might be getting weeks of the ball and suture waterboarding is always a topic where people. Shake their heads in frustration. And there's just. That disconnect between. What it is being offered by government and what should beat on it and I think people don't want the Beers they want to. Get their water that they want to make sure things work. And and we want solutions that makes sense for everybody in council member William pap Protestant. Suu Kyi waterboarding very hard the last time to start thinking about a better solution on the field side. We're gonna continue to press them on that and were to continue to press them on August 2017 flooding as well because. They're there have to be a process. That works much faster that gives the rate payers some comfort and keeps the cost down to two more supportive. Joseph can you stay with us a few more minutes all right we're gonna get to this break we'll be right back would councilman Joseph Jerusalem or on city councilman talking about the issues surrounding. The sewerage and water board stay with us. We're back door talking to George Rousseau member of the new law on City Council and Jerel. I was reading it in in the news the other day the that the sewerage and water boarded fired nineteen employees with theft of brass. After an all IG investigation. Back in December 2017 a day issued a report I was really struck by some of the findings of the commission. Where they use the inefficiencies. Of the sewerage and water board as a mitigating factor to any employees theft. And I just wanted to get your reaction to that animated just disposition a surplus properties always been an issue for public entities like edit you know. In a lot of that brass was actually. You know originally. Sewage water board material that was used in jobs and stuff that was removed that was broken in and taken to. The salvage yard and I think in this particular case he got over 300 dollars. In return for. But the commission went out of its way to say that. The sewage water board to not established at the sale of the scrap brass and 2015 had a negative financial impact on it because. They just used to throw it away in a dumpster. And I think about all of the other inefficiencies. I hope this doesn't lead to where somebody can just not paying their water bill because. This Georgia water board to endure a good job of collecting water bit on water bills. Well then you raise sort of a really good point rule which is. It PC things that are doing role within that agency wanted to I have to do my part to you right to play when somebody starts a monopoly that lower than all the other police torture monopoly because the boss thinks that it can. And it's our frustration with certain of the things that we've seen happening in the blasting one of those. Most egregious examples of items being taken. Put another one is the fact that people were creating these stake in the cap parking tax. To park in front page is the street noble. Unsympathetic to the fact that many of the people who worked there don't get paid very much. I'm sympathetic that in fact they don't have a lot of parking. But two wrongs don't make right. And you need to make sure your own houses in order. Sort of the moral clarity to be able to tell ratepayers. That they need to be doing their part as well and it is that both ends of the spectrum to each in water board to be doing a good job internally. In making sure they expertise there fraud that he's that the other end of the spectrum we need to make sure ratepayers aren't gaming the system. On the not paying their bills. It just seems to me that the commission is creating a Guiding Light that's flaw. And in understanding and this is bigger than just the sewerage and water board right to mean a civil service commission governs any number of employees within this the confines of of city government. Well and there's another recent report certainly be usual phrase that more fuel the fire. That one of the employees who was fired for the brass issues and now can be retired. So all of you know there's there's species all across the board. And what I think which you want from any agency whether to into war border or otherwise. Is that good policies and procedures in place that's set forth cherry clear articulate rules. About what is expected them particularly. When you wore. The party and Stuart. Of great careful on making sure those are being utilized property and that. People are profiting from from taking away from ball we all contribute to. You know not trying to make light of the situation but I think the new guy comes on September 1. I look forward to that date in I think that we are a lot aren't they yeah. You probably if I may be so boulders as suggests that you do too and I think a lot of the people and in the city and the surrounding area do as well. Nor were it would import saying mister Korda and we think he'll be a breath of fresh air hopefully somebody can bring some real leadership. To the agency and then look at all of the problems with franchise as an outsider starts saying all right here that ways that we can start cleaning all the stuff. And I'm come equally. Impressed with the amount of energy that the City Council has brought to this issue and continues to do so I think it's necessary and you know congratulations to you all for doing this desire I really think you need to bring this forward and looks like that Dell will continue. To be on the hound dog on his trail. There while I appreciated and it's definitely a team effort so I applaud. Tell numbers Williams marine who thinks like Paul thanks so much. We're back on the blue broader opinion poll with the obvious shortage of manpower should the sewerage and water board dropped the residency requirement. 100%. Of the respondents say. Yes. What they are the text messages came in you know they suggest rule what should they have done not not sue that wasn't the purpose of that got me race and that point. Just to make the point that there already stressed and trying to manage it day to day operations and then. All of a sudden they've got this situation with this class action lawsuit where there's going to be a lot of requests that are common in that are necessary for the prosecution of the claim I get it. It's just gonna make a bad situation worse I'm not placing blame on anybody I'm just pointing out the obvious. That you know in order for them to be able to click on all cylinders they gonna have to really get all over the situation in. In a quick way and an efficient way in order to be able to deal with all of these issues Kazaa and a very short period of time. They're going to be having I judge breathing down their neck making sure that they adhered to time lines and things of that nature as it relates to. That particular. Litigation. Total on one talk to Bobby Bobby what say you. But he sure good afternoon I don't go to new and you won't bore you sound as a brutal way. I migrated from Boston Bob. Let's senate despondent chime in on the job and they're like you have a peep this call on the last segment from from Jan generally conservative this the first lap I agree. That problem. We don't agree if we don't agree off tonight I got to taxes it was part of a mute mutual admiration society that rarely happens. Yeah. But but he didn't make some credible all. Statements in points and order thought ought the president in the general election but not in the primary but anyway. All. Over or so it does not then but a record fall over and ball. At this fall on the president. As far as aren't written about Aaron does Tom Horne about them like all man for obviously. All of and that the program on Sunday evening. Watcher it's called on their revolution we help you and it does segment come on our inner court on. It's got a segment come on the last fifteen minutes about. Drink in the small. And she goes out there are Democrats. Republicans. Everybody. Am the president these keep pompous and actually pretty small. The ball. There's some personal conflict with Patrice Peterson. Who Bob worked worked in the White House so while. Should direct and open this fall on the on the president CD's so stepped off the focus on and that. People. Brought these decisions like you won that bet in immigrant prominent country you. At all. Yeah about this is something let's go back to man afford 44. A moment. You know at the metaphor decision higher man afford. Sometimes I get you know I'm willing to give the president a pass on that one. Because he was kind of the second skier campaign. And he ended up assembly a lot of people from other folks campaign. And the reality was he didn't have a large pool to draw from because if you were called. He trashed. Almost every one. Of his Republican appear candidates in the primaries system and as a result. Many of those votes refused to go work for him. So he didn't have a wide who me. To choose from haven't said that he still chose the guy any edit history. And Italian do you do you have to live with those hires. And you know and it and that's why I agree with Tom. To you know to a certain respect on that and you as well in and I came out at the beginning of the aisle or not putting the blame Ryan on the president. You're suffering the consequences of no one's actions which are wrong. In and and that's why. An appropriate. Vetting process. Is key and especially if there are going to be touching. The west wing on a daily basis. Even more so thanks for colony and Bobby appreciate the call got to get to a break give us a call. 2601870. 87870. With the obvious shortage of manpower should the sewage water board drop the residency requirement. There vacillating 100% of the respondents say yes will be right back after the break this is Noelle went Avila Villa. We're back we've been talking about sewerage and water board we've been talking about Amoroso. Let's go to line one talked to Jeannie what say you Jeannie. I am thinking you saying. I am around. They need to be someone of color. That I reckon I herbal. Art he would have at. Accused of leaving the people of color out of here at. I can't in memoir happy that he. Well I mean obviously you you want to have they. They representative group of folks. You know there advising you on any number of issues but that's adults see that as an excuse war. You know the thing that come in I don't know let me let me ask you this. All the while she's doing this taping. What I've not heard anybody say her books written. She won't she was riding a while she's working. On the man. I think that's disingenuous. On her part I think that's Mal intent and I think that shows evil in your heart. I don't know how anybody can say this is a good person you don't. You know you don't do that you got to respect. The the office of the presidency if you don't respect the man that she should left a year ago. Right in art and and that's the problem that I'm having square and is up but by the same token he's to blame. You know he won't he brought her in to his administration. His house not the not mean in the White House his house of the administration. And that's an issue that nets that that's the blame that he's gonna have to bear and he suffered the consequences. He is definitely. Cheer so. For rape or. Because she signed all in agreement every back and to agree you that it's keep that quiet you here. You can't count about. And it's hard for that office to function if you weren't about people tape and everybody. In the organization and you wanna have open and transparent conversations you can you can agree to disagree and I'm sure. There's much disagreement you know kind of my approach was I want to pass ran amok people lose Rambus over people smarter than anyone in the to tell me. That I we're right on every issue a suspect. I crop is little different. Because he keeps telling people you know I really like I'm rose she said some really nice things about me so what. That's what she hired to do. Now if you brilliant on the issue she should tell you brilliant but if you're dumb what is it you know life. They ought to ought to be able to say that well all right Jeanne. That's that little thank you so much to give a colony and have a great has lied to Gerri on the West Bank would say you Jerry. But. I don't know. I had a comment about the residence requirement. Super Bowl. I think requirements. To ridiculous. Here executives. Should search the object here at trial. Tired chief financial officer the city but Detroit. She just made. It war era. Someone in Washington DC but yet. Jumbled big hole right there is huge board to be sitting right. I'll yeah most noticeably. Better so. Employees'. Loyalty to the city. Yeah and that's really a bunch of baloney because. The now. Well shortly it's certainly as when you find yourself and in crisis right. I mean is that a no brainer low hanging fruit. I can't hire enough people like gut there's not enough you know I need a bigger pool what do you do you get rid of the residency required. Yeah exactly and you know it was it was created supposedly. They're also people have loyalty to the city all of which created or it was third to trap city employees. Reports in the day. Property taxes in its sales taxes in the city. Because so many better paying jobs will be sitting in Peru it was created several mayors ago but it was it was. Much more now perhaps more. But I bet you mark. And the law enforcement officer I'm sure you're aware the Juneau. And 11. In the police association this body. One MB. First responders who died. In that tragedy they were children between. Port on the and it was in the study found that 85%. Of them most of which by. Did not live in the 5 Burroughs and am so sure. That this dedication. There's nothing to do. Not absolutely not there in it for a lot of hook a host of other reasons not for. You know. And in there well intentioned side I agree with you a 100% on an issue Gerri thanks so much for Colin and that's good line three talked to Terrelle on the West Bank what say you to row. Are you doing it'll only. People in general I would not rule which bear all prepare patrol what people do whatever they were it was it was but now we come out there. Well why America matter. Not like she's entitled to her opinion of the president I just think it's disingenuous. And you know and she in and Mal intent on her part where she's writing a book while she's working for the guy. What you paid Google are. Sheet or war record are they. I don't know she's the only one it's been domino after reveal that she has. Because I I think Republicans and Democrats. Alike or a law armed. By the fact that she would tape. The chief of staff the president. The president's family her peers supervisors and others. I guess obviously for the sake of posterity. And in writing a book. Chad even changed she just got terminated Friday and she's already got a book release. I suspect I suspect. The word got out that she was writing this book canoe was gonna publishes book I don't believe the president when he said he didn't know I think he knew. And I think he knew well that she was gonna get terminated. Just won't conduct yourself that way I mean you know there has to be some sanctity. You know whether it's the west wing and the entities interest you need the American taxpayers. Our safety and security is tantamount. And mr. hammer roses intentions and her desires. Are inconsequential. In the overall scheme of things. Look at what very. Well guest. Read this people really sure what or. What are. We human being every didn't have a residency. Share. No did not. He can go back there at. All. No we did not. They had to be registered to vote we haven't had a residency requirement sense I know for a fact since 1980. Okay. Well let you know all what you could start there. You got there are drop lip with. I'll I blamed him he hired her she would never made it through any vetting process that I would have been part of I can promise of that. Got to get to a break we'll be right back to 60187. Or Texas at 8770. This is pool and WTO. 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