Mayor Mitch Landrieu will hold his fourth town-hall meeting on the 2014 city budget Monday night at 6 p.m. in City Council District D, which includes Gentilly, several lakefront neighborhoods and part of eastern New Orleans.
The meeting will be held at Lake Area New Tech Early College High School at 6026 Paris Ave. The Lens will live-blog the meeting below.
A number of audience members at the most recent meeting, in District E, asked about the slow pace of post-Katrina economic development in eastern New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward. Several mentioned the failed development deal at the Lake Forest Plaza property. The owners of the still-blighted site owe millions in back taxes and government loans, WWL-TV reported this month.
During each of the first three meetings this year, Landrieu heard frequent complaints from residents about blight, damaged streets and high taxes. New Orleans firefighters and their allies — concerned about staffing cuts, attrition and their troubled pension fund — have spoken up at every meeting.
Landrieu, meanwhile, has stressed that he has a limited amount of money to deal with all these issues, as well as consent decrees outlining reforms at the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans Parish Prison.
Landrieu typically releases his proposed executive budget in October. The City Council holds budget hearings in early November. It has until Dec. 1 to amend and pass a budget, which in recent years has approached $900 million. That includes nearly $500 million in the general fund, the locally generated portion of the budget over which the city has direct control.