Head to take at-large seat immediately — even though it costs her a shot at 2 full terms

By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer |

Defying political speculation, Stacy Head told The Lens Wednesday she plans to take office as one of the City Council’s two at-large members before May 7, meaning she would not be eligible for two full terms after this partial term is over. “I think it is important to take office as quickly as possible with a short transition period.” Head said in a telephone interview.

Coalition urges mayor to 'man up' and fulfill promises on jail size and budget reforms

By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |

A reform coalition, calling for a smaller, more accountably budgeted jail, dropped off two copies of a 2,200-signature petition at City Hall this afternoon, having grown impatient with Mayor Mitch Landrieu for failing to “man up” on the issue. “I think the mayor just needs to step up,” said Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition member Norris Henderson, who also runs the reform group Voice of The Ex-Offender.

City Hall hiring freeze more than just a balancing act

By Karen Gadbois, The Lens opinion writer |

Ever played Jenga, the Parker Bros. game where you stack up a bunch of wooden blocks and then take turns easing them out of the middle of the stack, one at a time – until the whole thing falls down?

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.

I have evidence, I'm told

Politician X is the worst human being imaginable, but if it turns out he or she is not, so be it. We need a name for this.