Don’t think a disaster like New Orleans can happen to you?
Here’s the full quote of qualifications for Annemarie Conroy, a good pal* of failed Mayor Frank Jordan and Token Republican in San Francisco Government:
Annemarie Conroy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1989.
Doesn’t that make you feel good? An ENGLISH MAJOR who has the good grace of being a Republican and a friend of a powerful past mayor is now in charge of recovery from one of the three top threats to the US (the others being a terrorist attack in NYC and a big ass storm in New Orleans. I think those happened already).
More importantly it shows how you as a San Franciscan are very vulernable to a political hack for your survival. This has been the problem in San Francisco for some time now – people never get hired or fired for work performance – it’s all about appeasing people with big paying jobs, regardless of the impact. That’s why we have Tony Hall, a former supervisor, “running” Treasure Island, and why Ms. Conroy, the former head of Treasure Island, is now running Emergency Services.
It’s all well and good when the money’s flowing and life is swell that we give these well-padded politcos more money to do nothing. The problem is we pay when a real disaster happens. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of hiring Ms. Conroy, we’d hired someone who’s got experience running relief and diaster ops for a big city or small country? Maybe somoene who has a bit more in the smarts department than a Cal degree in English?
Perish the thought. But that’s why it’s time we push forward and get some solar rechargers and satphones for our police, fire, and Mayor, and for citizens. We can’t rely on Ms. Conroy to be concerned with much else besides her pension and her paycheck, and she certainly doesn’t have a background that warrants her appointment to this job. But I’m sure appeasing the former Supervisor helps so when we’re all staring at the rubble, we can at least be confident Little Annemarie got her good paying job.
UPDATE: Some have suggested a solar powered or charged cell phone is “expensive” or “not feasible.” To prove them wrong, I direct you all to this link at Apple’s online store. It’s for a pocket solar powered iPod charger, one of many types of solar chargers you can get for iPods and cell phones.
None of this has to be difficult, expensive , or line the pockets of some big stupid meathead-run company like Halliburton. It’s called “getting things done” and it’s a novel concept, I know, but we gotta try. Can’t hurt, can it?
UPDATE II, ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: Apparently the anxiety I have over this political appintment is shared by others. Since the news of Hurricane Katrina, the number of people hitting this site + posting off of Google with search terms involving “Annemarie Conroy” and “patronage” and “disaster” (or variations therein) have caused a minispike in traffic.
For some historical background, take a look at an old article from 1999 that details her previous patronage appointment and give you an idea of so-called “liberal” San Francisco works.
Where’s a paper ready to go on a crusade for All That Is Good and True when you need it the most? How about we put aside the tut-tuts being aimed at Bush and instead focus on making SF the best possible place for civil defense and relief at the local level? Too bad Willie Brown blew all the money during the boom on his buddies…but that’s another column….
FINAL UPDATE (REALLY): Today, the SF Board of Supervisors announced a full on audit of the department, realizing that FEMA (AKA FEEBL) can’t be relied on, and that we have got to have our act together as best we can.
*Actually she’s a relative. This was meant to be a joke.
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com
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