July 10, 2008

Anthony Jones Continues The Ruckus

Democracy is a puffy, mottled face thing in City Hall, where everyone looks slightly tazed, and slightly bloated. Paper shuffling, "thank you," "no, thank you," stone-faced Nagin spies, and the side entrances all mark the organism's mediocre pomp n' circumstance. "Wow," I thought as I exited today. "Even the militant who spoke during the public response portion was below average and sorta confused."

But, if you listen, sometimes you can hear the odd truth pebble fall off a table and rattle around on the floor. Why, I even heard one today.

IG Cerasoli and two of his assistants came before the Council today to report on their progress and much-reported lack thereof. In a painfully detailed account of their problems acquiring office computers, they mentioned:

1. An order from Dell for 42 computers was delivered to the wrong office and sat there for 2 weeks. No one in that section of City Hall bothered to notify them--or anyone else, apparently--of this delivery. That area was in the proximity of the Office of Technology, home to our man Anthony Jones. (It should also be noted that Cerasoli's people should've got a fcking tracking # and found those computers on their own. Those of us who've ordered, well, anything know what's possible if you really want to find something)

2. Apparently, Dell will no longer ship computers on credit to City Hall because the City is not in good standing with the company. This means that a check must be cut and sent to Dell before an order can be started and shipped. Imagine the delays that costs. Also, what did the City do to incur the wrath of Dell?

3. Defending the time wasted in setting up a network, Cerasoli said that he designed the system himself through the Dell website. When asked why he was handling that task and not the City's Office of Technology, he said that he made the request in a meeting with Anthony Jones. Jones did not show up for the second meeting, so Cerasoli took matters into his own hands. One hopes that his network functions.

Obviously this is a big mess. My continued question for the IG: why didn't he find the funding for this set-up outside of the City's budgetary office? Why not get, what, a $100G loan or Rockefeller grant and stay out of this b.s.? I'm surprised that as canny an operator as Cerasoli didn't forsee some of this.

But, wow, Anthony Jones. One wonders how many consequences the city will suffer from his reign? As in so much of this recovery, the seemingly most innocuous players continue to do the most damage.

And one also wonders if Anthony Jones came out for the launch of Kenya Smith's Congressional bid on Tuesday at Woldenberg Pavilion. I wonder if he heard me when I rode by on my bike yelling "Call 311, Kenya! Call 311, Kenya!" I know Kenya did. That was me, Kenya. I'm that guy!