The move, just over a year after an investigation by Neutral Ground News found the city’s water pumps were clogged with bullshit, comes as Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced interim director Jade Brown-Russell is being replaced and three of the deputy directors receiving increased salaries have resigned.
The three top deputy directors who turned in their resignations include Lou Pohl, the deputy director of S&WB crawfish boils; Tina Gouge, who handled billing; and Cynthia Klepteaux, who oversaw Post-It Note supplies and pensions. All three will receive severance packages and the city’s lifetime achievement award, the S&WB said.
According to S&WB spokesman James Allen speaking from his Malibu, California beach house, the 16 new supervisors will supervise the 14 current supervisors over each 10 person work crew, and will be responsible for overall quality control, scheduling, and coordinating, if he or she wants.
Th new supervisors reportedly will help keep things in line and safeguard the organization’s responsibility so that any future failures and blame is spread out far enough to dissipate any public outrage, ensuring the buck is meticulously passed at least 30 times.
“These S&WB supervisors are essential for maintaining and improving our well-known record of efficiency and hard work, and these new supervisors show our commitment to the city,” Allen said, noting S&WB bills may increase “a bit” to accommodate the new position’s salary and future pension.
“You may think the Sewerage and Water Board staff does nothing but stand around work sites drinking coffee, napping in trucks, not clearing catch basins, or ignoring customers. That isn’t the case. Not at all. They do all kinds of stuff and things. It’s usually just hard for the average person to see because they are laymen and unfamiliar with what we actually do. For instance, most people don’t know that our turbines catch on fire all the time. But they’re always put out. It’s not a big deal, really.”
Allen said that whoever the S&WB hires as the 16 supervisors will all absolutely have the needed government expertise to assume the position.
“Aside from knowing the ins and outs of performing government work, these new supervisors will get in at 7 a.m., and work a full eight hours until Noon. If he or she has to work another eight hours of overtime until 3 or 4 p.m. to make sure things are done right, so be it. We’re prepared to further the Sewerage and Water Board’s mission to keep New Orleans safe and healthy.”
Allen wants the public to know that “every member of the S&WB is absolutely necessary, with critical and highly specialized roles in sewer, and water, and boards; not to mention all of the thingies, doohickeys, and whatchamacallits that keep them operating at maximum capacity.”
When asked to elaborate on what kind of ‘specialized roles’ these positions include, Allen only said, “Specialized. Roles.”