This release raises concerns about proposed budget approvals for the New Orleans Office of Recovery Management’s plans in advance of a public vetting of those plans. New Orleans recovery planning process following Hurricane Katrina requires transparency and public input.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of PolicyWatch, a periodic newsletter that draws on BGR’s body of independent, nonpartisan research to address current public policy issues. This edition focuses on the City of New Orleans’ finances as it faces a pandemic-induced budget deficit. It discusses the City’s proposal to borrow up to $100 million as well […]
OVERVIEW As the City Council reviews the proposed $722 million 2020 operating budget, BGR Now: A Framework for Assessing New Orleans’ Proposed 2020 Budget outlines key findings of BGR’s recent City budget study to help inform citizens and policymakers. BGR’s study, A Look Back to Plan Ahead, analyzes growth in revenues and changes in expenditures […]
Overview On the Ballot: New Orleans Bond and Tax Propositions, November 16, 2019 studies three propositions to let the City issue bonds for capital improvements, levy a new tax for maintenance, and levy a new tax on short-term rentals. If voters approve, the City of New Orleans would be able to: Issue up to $500 […]
Overview A Look Back to Plan Ahead: Analyzing Past New Orleans Budgets to Guide Funding Priorities reviews a decade of City General Fund budgets. It also lays a foundation for examining potential opportunities to reallocate revenue to critical needs.
Overview Questions for a New Parish Council is the second in a two-part 2019 Candidate Q&A Election Series providing the views of candidates for Jefferson Parish government on important public policy issues, such as tax dedications and contracting. Questions for a New Parish Council provides voters with the candidates’ answers to 16 questions developed from […]
Overview Questions for a New Parish President is the first in a two-part 2019 Candidate Q&A Election Series providing the views of candidates for Jefferson Parish president on important public policy issues affecting Parish government. Questions for a New Parish President provides voters with the candidates’ answers to 16 questions developed from BGR’s body of […]
OVERVIEW This report is the latest installment in BGR’s Candidate Q&A Election Series. The new report consolidates and reissues the responses of the newly elected City of New Orleans mayor and councilmembers who completed BGR’s surveys last fall on important issues facing City government. We encourage citizens to revisit the issues by reviewing the BGR […]
Overview BGR’s On the Ballot report examines the proposed amendment on the November 18, 2017, ballot to establish the Savings Fund of the City of New Orleans in the City’s home rule charter.
Overview For the October 14, 2017 primary elections in New Orleans, BGR provided voters with its 2017 Candidate Q&A Election Series. BGR submitted questions to all mayoral and City Council candidates on public safety, infrastructure and other important public policy issues facing the City of New Orleans government. BGR compiled the answers of the candidates who […]
Overview In It’s the Law: Land Use Decision Making and the Master Plan, BGR provides clarity to recent public planning dialogue in New Orleans over the extent to which the Master Plan has the force of law.
Overview BGR reviews a proposed property tax for the upkeep of public school facilities in New Orleans and 11 propositions to amend the Jefferson Parish charter that voters will decide on December 6, 2014. The charter propositions relate to: Modifying the Jefferson Parish Council’s authority to investigate parish affairs Limiting the outside employment of the […]
Overview In A Trojan Horse in the Draft CZO: Article 5 Puts Years of Planning at Risk, BGR describes the article on New Orleans’ Planned Development Standards in the draft comprehensive zoning ordinance and the problems it poses.
Overview In this letter to the New Orleans City Planning Commission, BGR focuses on Article 5 of the draft comprehensive zoning ordinance, which would allow a wide array of exceptions to the zoning rules under vague circumstances in various neighborhoods across the city. BGR argues that, as written, Article 5 creates an Achilles’ heel in […]
Overview In The Accidental Steward: The Orleans Parish School Board as a Resource Manager in the Reform Era, BGR examines the Orleans Parish School Board’s performance as the financial steward for New Orleans’ unique, heavily charter school system.
In a letter to the New Orleans City Planning Commission, BGR examines its draft Neighborhood Participation Program for Land Use Actions. The letter calls for changes to enhance the integrity of the process.
Overview In this letter to the New Orleans City Planning Commission, BGR suggests ways to make New Orleans’ draft comprehensive zoning ordinance easier for the public to use and understand. BGR enclosed with the letter a copy of a map showing how zoning changes might be better illustrated. CZO Map_showing_changes_-_example
Overview On November 24, BGR sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council on the proposed 2011 budget for the City of New Orleans. The letter contains suggestions that would free up millions of dollars.
Overview In The Price of Civilization: Addressing Infrastructure Needs in New Orleans, BGR provides information on New Orleans’ core infrastructure needs – including streets, the systems of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, schools and the Orleans Parish jail – and assesses the community’s capacity to fund those needs.
Overview In A Need for Clarity: The Revised New Orleans 2030 Draft Plan, BGR continues its work to improve the draft master plan. While the report recognizes limited improvements from the previous draft, it finds that the revised draft does not live up to its mission in key areas. The report provides specific recommendations for […]
Overview With the primary on the way, BGR submitted questions to all mayoral candidates on topics in four areas: the city’s budget, city services, infrastructure and blight. Four candidates – Rob Couhig, John Georges, Mitch Landrieu and James Perry – responded. BGR is presenting the Q&A to the public in a web-only, four-part series, Questions […]
Overview In this report, BGR examines the draft master plan’s proposal for citizen participation, a key element of the planning process in New Orleans.
Overview BGR’s report, In Search of the Master Plan: Making the New Orleans 2030 Draft Plan Work, provides analysis and recommendations on the draft of the New Orleans master plan that is currently before the public. It provides key insights on this fundamental planning document for the city.
Overview In this release, BGR calls on the New Orleans City Planning Commission to delay public hearings on the master plan until the missing portions – including chapters on citizen participation and plan implementation – have been released to the public.
Overview This BGR release deals with proposed legislation that would require a referendum for approval of the city’s Master Plan. It focuses on three bills, all introduced by New Orleans legislators, that attempt to undermine a charter change approved by New Orleanians seven months ago that clarified and strengthened the planning process in New Orleans.
Overview BGR provides analysis of local propositions as well as amendments to the state constitution appearing on the ballot for November 4, 2008. A proposition in New Orleans would amend the city charter to make comprehensive changes to planning and land use decision making in the city. A proposition in Jefferson Parish would expand the permissible […]
Overview This release calls on the City of New Orleans to conform to charter requirements in producing its capital budget, which is developed by the mayor and reviewed by the New Orleans City Planning Commission and City Council.
Overview This release raises concerns about proposed budget approvals for the New Orleans Office of Recovery Management’s plans in advance of a public vetting of those plans. New Orleans recovery planning process following Hurricane Katrina requires transparency and public input.
Overview In UNOP Revisited: An Analysis of the Revised Citywide Plan, BGR follows up on its previous report on the Unified New Orleans Plan citywide product, focusing on the revised plan. It offers recommendations to the New Orleans City Planning Commission for further revisions.
Overview In Budgeting in a Time of Crisis: A Review of the City of New Orleans’ 2007 Budgets, BGR examines the City’s operating and capital budgets for 2007, the second fiscal year following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Overview BGR provides an analysis of the nearly 600-page draft Citywide Plan, the centerpiece of the Unified New Orleans Plan. The report is part of BGR’s monitoring of New Orleans’ recovery planning process following Hurricane Katrina.
Overview On September 30, Louisiana voters were asked to approve 13 constitutional amendments. This report focuses on those that are amendments relevant to Greater New Orleans in four arenas: coastal restoration and flood protection, expropriation, the homestead exemption, and unfunded state mandates. In addition, BGR provides an expanded discussion of the proposed amendment on expropriation, […]
Overview In this follow-up to its October 2003 report Runaway Discretion, BGR sets forth proposed charter amendments to reform planning and land use decision making in New Orleans.
Overview As part of BGR Reports, a web-based series of reports BGR began publishing following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, BGR comments on a $3 million contract for recovery planning in New Orleans awarded without inviting competition. BGR also provides links below to documents referenced in the report: 2004 Request for Statement of Qualifications 2004 […]
Overview BGR and the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, Inc. (PAR) have issued a joint report calling for a full appraisal of financial options for local governments in fiscal crisis, including municipal bankruptcy.
Overview BGR comments on post-Katrina redevelopment strategy in this installment of a web-based series of reports that BGR began publishing following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Overview BGR offers detailed suggestions for enhancing citizen participation on the Bring New Orleans Back Commission’s planning process. This report is the first installment of a web-based series of reports that BGR began publishing following the 2005 disaster. BGR also issued a letter to the commission.
Overview In this report, BGR predicts tight financial times ahead for Jefferson Parish Government. What can the Parish Council and Parish President do about it? This report offers an array of options for keeping the parish coffers filled.
Overview Quality of life problems, traffic congestion, chaotic growth patterns, and environmental degradation are plaguing St. Tammany. Slip-Sliding Away? serves as a no-nonsense planning guidebook for a greener, cleaner, more people-friendly parish.
Overview Runaway Discretion: Land Use Decision Making in New Orleans reveals deep flaws in New Orleans’ land use decision making process, its approach to zoning, and its interaction with businesses and citizens. It suggests legal changes in the City’s approach to land use planning, placing neighborhoods and citizens at the center of reform.
Overview This report examines the history and current state of the operating budget and compares revenues and expenditures, including salaries, for the City of Harahan, a municipality in Jefferson Parish. The report includes information on comparable Louisiana cities.
Overview This edition of BGR’s Outlook series discusses the financial challenges facing the Jefferson Parish Public School System and the current academic performance of its schools.
Overview In this report, BGR reviews the four proposed changes in the Louisiana constitution that voters will decide on November 7, 2000. The amendments would: (1) authorize the state to establish a corporation to be the state’s principal economic development organization (Louisiana Inc.) and to exempt it from civil service; (2) change state individual income […]
Overview This issue of the Outlook series examines the capital budget process of the City of New Orleans and critiques the implementation of the 1995 voter-approved building program.
Overview This issue of Outlook updates the fiscal status of the Jefferson Parish Public Schools with a focus on the revised FY1999 and the adopted FY2000 operating budgets.
Overview This edition of Outlook provides an overview of Jefferson Parish Government and the Parish’s fiscal outlook, including final general government revenues and expenditures between 1988 and 1997, and an examination of the 1999 Jefferson Parish adopted budget.
Overview This is the first report in BGR’s Outlook series on the Orleans Parish School Board. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the Board’s fiscal outlook with a focus on the FY 1999 (July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999) operating budget.
Overview In this issue of Outlook, BGR focuses on one specific area of Jefferson Parish Government—the public works function, which manages streets, water, sewer, drainage and other infrastructure. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief overview of how this department is organized, where it receives its funding and how it spends its […]
Overview This report reviews the City of New Orleans’ property service charge proposal on the ballot for December 5, 1998. The primary intended uses of the new revenues include pay raises for most City employees and for all Orleans Parish public school employees.
Overview This report provides a short analysis of the potential creation of three separate neighborhood-based special tax districts in New Orleans and a recommendation on two proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution relative to the governance of higher education. The neighborhood districts will provide additional funding for enhanced security and in some cases, beautification and […]
Overview This report provides a synopsis and short analysis of all 18 proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution on the October 3, 1998, election ballot. The topics include assessment freezes for senior citizens and properties undergoing restoration, as well as parish severance tax allocations and remediation of blighted property: Establishes community college system Increases parish […]
Overview This issue of the BGR Outlook on Jefferson examines the Jefferson Parish School Board’s finances. The 16-page report analyzes the factors leading to recent operating budget deficits and discusses potential solutions.
Overview This report is the fourth in BGR’s program of governmental oversight and monitoring of Jefferson Parish governments. This report provides updated budgetary information on the Parish Council, District Attorney and Sheriff.
Overview This is the first in a new series of reports highlighting the finances of Jefferson Parish local government. It provides an overview of parish general-purpose government revenues and expenditures over the past ten years and comparison of current-year operating budget.
Today, the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) hosted a virtual Breakfast Briefing featuring New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. She discussed “Looking Ahead to 2021: New Orleans’ Budget, Infrastructure and Policy Priorities” and then answered questions from the audience. BGR...
Today, BGR released the inaugural edition of PolicyWatch, a periodic newsletter that draws on BGR’s body of independent, nonpartisan research to address current public policy issues. This edition focuses on the City of New Orleans’ finances as it faces a...
The coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to slow its spread are set to levy a massive toll on the New Orleans economy, with the hospitality sector already seeing a sharp downturn in business and officials warning about likely cuts...
BGR President and CEO Amy Glovinsky and Vice President & Research Director Stephen Stuart talked about the 2020 Excellence in Government Awards program and a variety of issues related to local government in a live interview with Oliver Thomas...
Deputy clerks at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court can breathe a sigh of relief — at least for now. Clerk of Court Arthur Morrell said Monday that he has shelved his plan to furlough nearly all of his office’s...
If you’re really lucky, at least once in your life you cross paths with someone truly extraordinary. I was very blessed to spend time with Bill Borah during his last years. He was an exceptionally intelligent, talented and personable...
The City Council has made a request to cut tax rates for property owners, and an agreement is under consideration. The plan is to move some individual millages around to prioritize infrastructure and public safety dollars over areas of...
As the New Orleans City Council reviews the proposed 2020 budget for the City of New Orleans, BGR presents here a collection of resources to help citizens understand the proposal in the context of recent City budget trends and...
Today, BGR releases BGR Now: A Framework for Assessing New Orleans’ Proposed 2020 Budget, which outlines key findings of BGR’s recent City budget study and connects them to the current 2020 budget process to help inform citizens and policymakers....
Today BGR releases On the Ballot: New Orleans Bond and Tax Propositions, November 16, 2019. The report analyzes three separate propositions that would authorize the City of New Orleans (City) to: Issue up to $500 million in bonds for...
Citizens in Orleans and Jefferson parishes who plan to vote in tomorrow’s election can inform their decisions with three BGR reports: On the Ballot: Housing Tax Exemptions in New Orleans, October 12, 2019 examines Constitutional Amendment No. 4, which...
Today, BGR releases A Look Back to Plan Ahead: Analyzing Past New Orleans Budgets to Guide Funding Priorities. The report reviews the City’s General Fund budgets from 2010 to 2019, focusing on growth in revenues and changes in expenditures. As...
Today BGR releases Questions for a New Parish Council, the second in a two-part report series providing the views of candidates for Jefferson Parish government on important public policy issues. Yesterday, BGR released the responses of the candidates for...
Today BGR releases Questions for a New Parish President, the first in a two-part series of reports providing the views of candidates for Jefferson Parish government on important public policy issues. Tomorrow, BGR will release the responses of the...
The New Orleans City Planning Commission has recommended dropping the core element of a plan aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing in the city, balking at a plan that would allow the city to require that apartments...
Governor John Bel Edwards presented at a BGR Breakfast Briefing on State of Louisiana priorities of local importance. BGR expresses its appreciation to Governor Edwards and to our attendees for their presence and participation in the Q&A that followed...
There are several issues and races on the ballot throughout south Louisiana for today’s election, including a statewide contest to pick the next treasurer and a high-profile race for mayor in New Orleans. We urge everyone to go to...
New Orleans voters have agreed to create a safety net for the city’s finances, establishing a “rainy day” fund with a charter change that gained citywide approval Saturday (Nov. 18). The city will be required to set aside for emergencies...
In 7 1/2 years, together with the City Council and the people of New Orleans, we have righted the ship of government. Today, our financial house is stronger, going from a budget deficit to a budget surplus, and our...
When Mayor Mitch Landrieu and a new City Council took office in May 2010, New Orleans was broke. The mayor and council took drastic measures to put the city’s fiscal house in order, and those tough choices have, for...
BGR won two awards from the Governmental Research Association (GRA) at its national conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. BGR won the award for Outstanding Policy Achievement for the report The Accidental Steward: The Orleans Parish School...