A look at the city's books shows New Orleans poised to end 2011 in better shape than 2010

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

Despite significant reform to the way the city collects fines, taxes and permitting fees, New Orleans collected slightly fewer dollars in the first six months of the year than it did in the same period of 2010. Even so, the city is on track to end the year in the black, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top financial officer told the City Council Budget Committee on Thursday.