A federal judge has approved a compromise between Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Sheriff Marlin Gusman on temporary funding for the prison consent decree. In this week’s Commentary, Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos talks about the long-range importance of that compromise.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
It’s not the end, but it could be the beginning of the end. That’s the best way to describe the compromise funding agreement between Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
The deal only covers the rest of this year, but it’s a breakthrough. Until now, the mayor and the sheriff have been at each other’s throat, politically and legally. Now, finally, they’ve put away their swords and made progress.
A lot more remains to be done, and the next few steps are critical. The City Council and the sheriff have to come to terms on funding the jail for next year. The council is holding budget hearings right now, and the sheriff will spend several days explaining and defending his budget request.
Hopefully, the sheriff will do a better job explaining his jail’s finances in front of the council than he did in federal court. And hopefully, the council and the mayor will stand ready to help him build and run a constitutional jail.
After all, despite their political differences, they’re all dealing with taxpayer dollars.