Tuesday, June 3, 2008
That nest of pathological liars, serial spinmeisters, and media manipulators in the Bush White House have nothing on our local leaders when it comes to peddling sows' ears as silk purses. It is almost comical that Mayor Dan Coody, B.S., and Dr. Susan Thomas, Ph.D., are staging a Cowbird ribbon-cutting photo opportunity to celebrate the flowing of effluent into the Illinois River watershed, part of the ill-fated the $186 million debacle aka the Wastewater System Improvement Project that we were told would cost $120 million and be operational three years ago..
According to the official city press release, this is just a warm-up event for a Grand Opening scheduled in August closer to the filing deadline for mayoral candidates. This fine work of bureaucratic fiction also makes the fantastic claim that the plant was finished two days ahead of schedule. The usually stenographic reporting from The Morning News cannot reprint that fable and has to note it comes "after a decade of delays and cost increases."
According to TMN, Mayor Coody is a skilled time-shifter who tried to tell the reporter the project has been on time and within budget since the city took control of the project from an earlier consultant in 2005. We should all pretend that Coody didn't get us to pass a sales tax increase for construction bonds in 2001, a month before he signed the original Memorandum of Understanding with the state. He would also have us ignore the three separate Amendments to the MOA he signed in 2003 and 2004, extending the deadlines for completion because of delays by his staff and his hand-picked out-of-state consulting firm. He now says he had no idea, at that point in time, what his administration was doing with our tax money for public works.
It was finally in 2005 that Coody told his consultants that he had "concerns about the progress" of the sewer project. He also told them that he had "repeated the goals of this administration of keeping this project on time and on budget." In 2006, he told the Water and Sewer Committee, "All things considered, this project’s gone smoothly." In 2007, Coody told the City Council that it was not a debacle and that the "only hiccup that we've had is the missed estimates on time and money," the two essential goals he had set for his administration.
This pattern of failure and fibbing is clearly documented on ExcessFayetteville, and it was objectively reported in the Northwest Arkansas Times back in 2006 when we were forced to again raise regressive sales taxes to cover his $63-$68 million cost overrun on the mismanaged project. But now he wants us to forget about it and come watch him and the Cowbirds cut the ribbon at 3 p.m. on June 12th. They should instead cut the crap right now..