Mayor Landrieu is all geared up to present his budget to the City Council tomorrow. It will be scary.
Exactly how many millions of dollars Landrieu will include in the budget to implement the two consent decrees won’t be known until Tuesday, but he has said many times the city can’t afford to carry out both sets of mandates simultaneously without causing cutbacks elsewhere, such as widespread furloughs or layoffs.We know he's serious about this too because when we watched him on the news last night he was already warning us that we "could go the way of Detroit."
His arguments have failed to persuade federal judges that the city should be relieved of any of the mandates the consent decrees impose.
The 2013 budget included cuts to many departments’ budgets of 8 percent to 10 percent of their 2012 spending levels. The Police Department budget was allowed to grow by almost $7 million this year, not counting another $7 million to begin implementing that consent decree.
It seems likely that further cuts are in store for many city programs in 2014.
I think if anyone is interested in playing NOLA Budget Presentation The Drinking Game tomorrow, "Go the way of Detroit" will be a good phrase to watch for. "Zero sum" might be another one. It's been a while now since we've been implored to do "more with less" but that's always a fair bet. "Sacred Cows" is certainly in play.
The Lens is will be live-blogging the show at 10 AM so be prepared to start early.