Friday, July 23, 2010

Let's Try This Again : New Money Repost

Back in December 2008 the city was having the same problem with the budget as we are now. Mayor Nagin came up with some ideas that the public shot down. Back then I wondered when anyone was going to discuss how to generate more money from new sources so we wouldn't keep having the same issue over and over. Mitch Landrieu is the mayor now and we are having the same problems only everyone seems to be calmer and more level headed because it's him and not Nagin trying to make the numbers work. I wrote this post called "In Need Of New Money" back then and I am posting again because sooner or later I think we need to take a chance on something different. Of course this was written pre oil spill and it seems a little dated but just ignore those parts. The main idea stills stands.

This city budget process is giving me a headache. I am trying to pretend like I care about the odds and ends but to me city services already suck so what’s the big deal. I have been reading and watching but it’s hard to pay attention to. It’s seems to be lots of finger pointing, excuses and division with nothing being done to change the situation for the long term. That’s been the usual routine lately. Why do we only have 30 days to approve a budget anyway? With the circumstances of this city shouldn’t this process have started a few months ago? That way everyone has a chance to go through everything a few times before they decide to cut anything. Here’s what I never hear but I would love to. Why isn’t anyone talking about how to generate new revenue for the city?

There are some folks in the blogosphere that have convinced themselves that all of the extra city money is at Ray Nagin’s house. The truth is that ever since I started following city politics in high school they have had budget issues. Marc Morial used to ask for extra tax revenue every year and never got it. We have to figure out how to get some new money. We might be paying too much for garbage collection. I am certain we didn’t need to spend a dime on crime cameras. Real criminals don’t give a damn about a camera. Even if we corrected all of that we would still be broke.

We need to think outside the box. We got a big river and a port. We own the airport. There’s even an amusement park out in the East even though it’s kind of rusty. I don’t know what the plan should be but since it’s obvious no one wants to pay any extra taxes someone needs to come up with something. Remember when Ray Nagin first got elected mayor he said he wanted to package and sell our water? I guess after watching all the things floating during Katrina we can’t sell that idea anymore. All I know is that there is no disaster loan money left after this budget and I don’t want to hear all the crying when there are about 5 streetlights still lit and a pothole so deep you can reach China.

Just for the record: Cliff wouldn’t be against paying a few more cents on the dollar for the health of the city. We just need to come up with a way that no one would screw with it.

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