Nationwide search costing tens of thousands could find NORD boss is already here

By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |

A search firm paid $42,000 to find a new city recreation director warned officials today that the longer they take to make a decision, the more likely they are to hire the interim director already in place. The more time the process takes, the less rival candidates are likely to stay in the race, according to the headhunter and one candidate who dropped out of the running Monday.

City forced to tweak spending as $38B federal budget cut ripples downstream

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

Two months after President Barack Obama and Congress averted a government shutdown by eliminating $38 billion in federal spending for 2011, New Orleans is feeling the pinch. The $2.8 billion cut to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development budget has crimped the city’s Office of Community Development by about $3.5 million.

NORD budget decisions premature, council says

Though presenters at the second day of City Council budget hearings enthusiastically outlined their funding requests for city programs aimed at children and families, most council members said the time – and the budget – isn’t right to begin new projects and urged them to find money elsewhere.

Fielkow’s newsletter on city site pushes NORD initiative

City Council President Arnie Fielkow has issued a newsletter on the taxpayer-financed city website that urges readers to vote for an upcoming ballot initiative, but he says his actions don’t violate state laws against using public funds to influence an election. That’s because the newsletter, written by his communications director, didn’t cost anything beyond what the city already pays her, and posting it to the website didn’t cost anything extra either, Fielkow said.