Believe it or not, the Nagin administration was worse than we imagined. The administration’s incompetence, mismanagement, embarrassments, and lack of leadership were well known by local observers. Yet, until Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech last week, we did not know the extent of the city’s fiscal mess.
As Landrieu outlined last week, the city has a budget deficit of $67 million, which he will have to address through severe budget cuts. A $72 million reserve fund is now gone, with very little to show for it. The fiscal mismanagement was mind boggling and included huge technology contracts and wasteful spending on such items as storage for unused furniture.