Mayor cuts back budget forums, so neighbors plan their own

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East bank residents of New Orleans City Council District C are holding their own town-hall meeting tonight regarding the city’s proposed 2013 budget after Mayor Mitch Landrieu departed from previous years’ practice and decided not to hold such a meeting in their area.

In each of the past two years, Landrieu has held seven community forums to ask for residents’ suggestions on the budget: one in each of the five council districts, with an extra one each in District C, which spans the Mississippi River, and District E, which includes the Lower 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans.

This year, Landrieu held only one meeting in each district, reducing the meetings from seven to five. His spokesman, Ryan Berni, said the change was simply a scheduling issue, and no slight was intended toward the two districts that lost meetings.

“There’s nothing to read in to it,” Berni said Thursday.

The District C meeting took place in Algiers.

On Aug. 2, Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin told a City Council committee that seven meetings would take place, spelling out the two extra meetings.

Five days later, the city released the schedule.

Tonight’s meeting will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Churck, 1130 N. Rampart Street.

Follow @beattylensnola on Twitter for coverage of the meeting.

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