Thursday, July 24, 2008

Et Tu, Brute?

Dan Coody must be feeling betrayed that his reliable editorial cheerleaders at the Northwest Arkansas Times are not buying his familiar line about bringing in the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant "on time and under budget." The press conference and staged ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by his tax-paid publicist last month was one of those orchestrated "Mission Accomplished" moments that fooled no one. Everyone knows it was a $63 million debacle on his watch, no matter how glibly he tried to shift the blame or explain it away as a hiccup.

"Not too long ago," wrote the editors, "the then-final term mayor of Fayetteville confidentially strode into our offices to discuss all the reasons the city’s $186.5 million expansion and upgrade to the sewer system deserves to go down in history as a first-rate effort, not a project that spiraled uncontrolled into $60 million-plus more than anticipated and completion three years behind schedule." Clearly unconvinced, they concluded that no matter how he tries to spin it, "only Coody and his supporters can so easily flush away the pungent realities this community had to emerge from after the project was discovered to be in shambles."

Last week in San Francisco, it was made official that the Presidential Memorial Commission has placed on the November ballot a proposal to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. Since Mayor Coody remains so proud of his own management success, Fayetteville taxpayers should have an opportunity to honor him by renaming the high-priced and long-delayed Westside sewer facility as the Dan Coody Sewage Plant.

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