Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented his annual budget to the City Council yesterday, calling for cuts in many city departments. And that’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
NEW ORLEANS -- If you’re looking for good news out of City Hall, don’t ever go see a mayor’s budget address. I’ve heard dozens of them, and they’re all depressing.
There’s never enough money.
There are always too many problems.
And there’s almost always some kind of tax or fee that needs to be passed in order to make even the proposed “austerity” budget a reality.
Such is the case this year. Above all, we should remember that a governmental budget is a statement of public priorities.
Mayor Landrieu’s proposed $491 million budget is slightly smaller than his last one. If adopted by the City Council, it would cut most departments up to 10 percent, some even more. But it would increase funding for police by $14 million — half of which would pay for the proposed consent decree with the feds.
This is a critical time of the year at City Hall. It’s the one time that council members can stand toe-to-toe with a mayor. Once they pass a budget, the mayor holds all the cards.
Budget hearings are tedious, but starting Nov. 7, they offer council members and citizens their best opportunity to speak out on the city’s priorities.
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