“I’m pleased to announce that the City Council and I have reached an accord to pass a fully balanced budget that funds citizen priorities. I’d like to thank the Council for their strong leadership and partnership in putting together this historic budget. We worked together like never before, and I want to thank each of them for their unwavering commitment to do what is right for our citizens.
“On December 1st, I noted that the Council had unfinished business. We now have all of the information we need to move forward. First, we’ve successfully renegotiated all of the sanitation collection contracts while adding recycling services. We now have a better sense of the actual cost of sanitation services in 2011. Second, we’ve agreed that the proposed changes to the excise tax on nonresidential parking require further study.
“The new budget we have agreed upon is fiscally prudent and structurally sound. It includes a roll forward of 7.74 mils and a sanitation fee of $24 per household per month. Perhaps most importantly, 2 of these mils will be permanently dedicated to NORD to ensure that our youth will have the world-class recreational opportunities that are worthy of their great promise – now and for all future generations.
“The millage funds what the people want and need – street and drainage repairs, blight reduction and public safety. The sanitation fee is now more in line with the actual cost of picking up garbage. We must get back to sound fiscal practices and pay for services as we go.
“We proposed a fiscally prudent budget that was transformational in both process and substance. We submitted the budget to the Council two weeks early to allow more time for dialogue. We held seven community meetings, so that the budget would reflect the priorities of the public. To ensure that financial projections were based on good data, we held three Revenue Estimating Conference meetings.
“We implemented the Budgeting for Outcomes process to keep the focus on results. In fact, this year’s budget is smaller than what was spent in 2008 and 2009, and will deliver better services. We proposed a budget that is honest with no partial year funding. It addresses the priorities of our citizens, funds critical services, cuts wasteful spending and is based on realistic projections of expenditure and revenue growth. Simply put, we were guided by the core principles of cutting smart, reorganizing and investing in the future. This budget provides a solid foundation for us to grow into the future.”
The City Charter procedurally requires the City Council to hold a special meeting for the purpose of calling a regular meeting which is needed to take action on the budget. This process allows the public a full 72-hour notice before action is taken. The special meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 8 at 9:30am in the Council Chamber. A regular meeting of the City Council will be held on the morning of Saturday, December 11 where the budget will be finalized.
(Mayor Landrieu Press release)