Thursday, November 19, 2015

All over but the stamp

City Council finalized but did not officially approve the 2016 budget today. Something to do with how calendars work.
The council did not actually approve the budget on Thursday, as it was expected to do, because of a technical glitch that will push the vote back to Dec. 1. But the council spent Thursday morning making changes to the spending plan that have been hashed out in meetings with the administration since Landrieu unveiled his original proposal last month.
The most notable late change is an extra $250,000 for the public defender's office which, combined with whatever they raked in on kickstarter, should mean they won't have to furlough anyone

Also worth mentioning (again).  Enjoy the boom times, New Orleans, because these are they.
The council was able to budget extra spending in part because of some unexpected, last-minute revisions to next year’s revenue projections. About $2 million of the total will come from payments for permits and fees related to the redevelopment of the former World Trade Center building. A roughly equal amount comes from rosier projections on the amount the city will collect in motor vehicle taxes and hotel/motel taxes.
Bizarre contrast with the tire fire in Baton Rouge notwithstanding, these are flush days in New Orleans. Curious that hasn't translated into any meaningful effort at relieving the affordable housing crisis or making the public transit work for someone besides the tourists downtown.

Curious, also that, even though these are the good times and we're rich and all,  we're still broke enough to jack up the parking meter rates and not feel bad about it.  That apparently didn't even come up for discussion today. 

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