Wait, you mean we’re supposed to actually review the budget during the year? Apparently, that is what our prestigious New Orleans City Council was asking itself last week.
I don’t know about you, but I check my bank account activity and balance and due date of bills every day of the week. Is it too much to ask that the city council do this at least once a month? After all, the meeting agenda says there’s a monthly budget report to be given by Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant. Oh wait, I almost forgot. Why should we expect them to keep a hawk’s eye on the city’s spending and income when it isn’t their own money we’re talking about, it’s our money.
To make matters even worse, when they finally did get around to meeting, they couldn’t even manage to keep from getting sidetracked by…..streetlights. That’s right, streetlights. Never mind that there is a constitutional crisis going on in the Orleans Public Defenders office. Why bother working on finding funds to keep the office functional and risk severe constitutional violations or defendants from being released without a trial when we can discuss streetlights? Maybe I’m overlooking something though. Perhaps the thinking is that if the streetlights are fixed, there will be less crime, so in turn fewer defendants to have to represent! Brilliant! I don’t give Budget Committee Chairwoman Clarkson enough credit apparently.
In all seriousness though, this is a complete dereliction of duty that cannot go unmentioned. Who can possibly be surprised about high taxes and questionable spending when our elected councilmembers can’t even be bothered to seriously review them? Shame on them.