After last year’s tempestuous set of Mandeville budget workshops, this year’s budget-review process — which lacked some of the hot-button issues that ignited last year’s debates — was expected to go relatively smoothly. In anticipation, the City Council scheduled only three budget workshops and vowed that each would last only two hours.
A fourth was put on the calendar on an “if necessary” basis. It was held Monday night, then the council decided yet another session is needed.
The city operates on a fiscal year that runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, meaning its approximately $40 million budget must be approved this month to go into effect in September.
One constant from last year remains. The conflicts that have so often derailed the business of city government, exposing deep rifts between Mayor Donald Villere and some members of the five-person council, are still present.
Those old conflicts flared up again at Monday’s hearing.