Mayor Mitch Landrieu will hold a town hall meeting on city finances Monday evening in City Council District E, at the Sanchez Center in the Lower 9th Ward. Monday’s meeting is the last of five community budget meetings this year.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m.; The Lens will live-blog it here.
The forums are designed to let the public weigh in on how Landrieu should spend public money next year.
District E, represented by Councilman James Gray, includes eastern New Orleans and the Lower 9th Ward.
At the last meeting, in Lakeview, a large group of firefighters and supporters were in attendance to urge Landrieu to pay more than $100 million — plus tens of millions more in interest — the city owes them for back pay and unpaid pension contributions, A state judge has since set a deadline for the city to begin paying out $142 million on the back pay lawsuit.
The meeting broke down several times when firefighters in the audience began shouting at the mayor. At one point, Landrieu responded to them saying his job was to represent every person in the city. Firefighters union president Nick Felton yelled, “No you don’t! You don’t represent me.”
For the first time this year, the District A meeting saw a large number of attendees objecting to Landrieu’s call to remove Confederate monuments around the city. Members of the audience erupted into applause nearly every time a speaker expressed opposition to removing the statues.
Landrieu said the city is convening a series of public meetings on the issue, and any decision will ultimately be made by the City Council, not him. But he said that, personally, he hoped the council would vote for removal.
“There are all kinds of history that in some cases do not need to be revered,” he said. “Now this is just my opinion. I’m the mayor. I’m going to be gone in two and a half years. … I don’t get everything I want. And I may not get it now.”