Thursday, November 30, 2006

Before the Budget Vote

The mayor waited until the last moment to submit his budget proposal. The mayor hasn't provided complete or accurate budgetting information to the council. Now we find out that "sloppy accounting" may cost the city both state and federal money, a fact that would seem to call the city's revenue projections into question. And the mayor wants the state of emergency to end as soon as his budget is approved. Sounds scary to me.

I don't know if my earlier suggestion that the city council extend the state of emergency would work as way of pushing back the budget deadline, but the council is poised to make some serious mistakes tomorrow. The council has itself to blame for some of its difficulties, but the mayor hasn't given them enough information to make intelligent decisions (in some cases, it's difficult to determine where the fault lies.). It certainly has no business approving seven year contracts for garbage collection.

It seems that the city council is still being generous:
Also likely to get more money are Safety and Permits, the Planning Commission, the Office of Inspector General and the company that administers the city's health care plan.

WTF? That company administers the health care plan of a smaller work force. Bruce Eggler's budget reporting has been very good, even excellent, so I'm a little surprised that there wasn't any more detail on that. Maybe I'm missing something.

The pay increases are getting absurd. Most of the raises mentioned in today's article necessary, but remember the arguments for across-the-board pay raises. Targetted pay raises are unfair because they lave some people. Does anybody really doubt that the mayor's plan had something to do with the firefighter's union endorsement of Landrieu? City workers needed the raise because they don't get longevity raises; now they're getting longevity raises. My personal feelings are no longer as strong as they were even a few weeks ago -- the two people whose pay raises I wouldn't have paid for are gone -- but I'm afraid that the city's generosity could be used against it.

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