In The News › City budget makes investments in the future: A letter to the editor

Nov 30, 2010

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Government Finance, Orleans Parish

City budget makes investments in the future: A letter to the editor

Thursday, November 30, 2010
The Times-Picayune

Re: “BGR chief sees fat in N.O. budget,” Metro, Nov. 25.

To balance this year’s $80 million budget deficit, I’ve made millions of dollars of cuts and reorganized city government to become more efficient and deliver better results. But we cannot cut our way to excellence. We must make smart investments in our future.After hosting community meetings in every council district to hear citizen priorities, I proposed an honest budget to the City Council that funds citizen priorities. We submitted the budget two weeks early to encourage more responsible, thoughtful discussion.

BGR’s admittedly cursory review of our proposed budget seems to question investing in summer job opportunities for kids, job creation initiatives for residents and the public’s right to be engaged and informed.

We all agree that the best tool for improving our economy and reducing crime is to provide meaningful activities for our youth. That’s why I doubled funding for recreation. And it’s why I’ve fully funded the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Last year, 700 kids who wanted a summer job were turned away because of a lack of funding. That’s unacceptable.

Second, creating new jobs is our clearest path to prosperity so BGR’s suggestion to cut funding for job growth is curious. We’ve launched the city’s first economic development public-private partnership. We’ve secured $20 million in support for small businesses from Goldman Sachs. And we’ve created hundreds of jobs at TCI, the Hyatt and Blade Dynamics, using a robust economic development toolkit to remain competitive. Funding economic development brings significant job growth and tax revenue for the city, a real return on investment for taxpayer dollars.

A strong public information office supports the public’s right to know, increases the city’s visibility and communicates the city’s progress to the rest of the nation and the world. In our 200-plus days in office, we’ve helped facilitate hundreds of public records requests, hosted 72 press conferences and organized over 20 public meetings to discuss the budget, blight and crime with record citizen participation. We’ve hosted international delegations and we’ve been the spokesperson for the region on the oil spill and the city’s continued recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

My commitment is to deliver results and bring accountability to city government. This fiscally prudent, citizen-driven budget does just that.

Mitchell J. Landrieu
Mayor
New Orleans

Nov 30, 2010

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Government Finance, Orleans Parish

Fair Use Notice

This site occasionally reprints copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues and to highlight the accomplishments of our affiliates. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is available without profit. For more information go to: US CODE: Title 17,107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.