Hub Citizen Budget Guide
LCG’s budget is a vision statement and an action plan. It sets how much we spend on public safety, infrastructure, recreation, housing, healthcare and more.
This guide explains how the budget works, and keeps tabs on what’s happening in the news and how you can get involved.
How does the Budget work?
Budgets account for revenues and expenses.
Revenue comes from property taxes, sales taxes, state and federal grants, utility bills, various fines, charges and more.
Expenses fall into one of three categories: personnel (salaries and benefits), professional services (contracts and contractors) and capital outlay (like infrastructure, public facilities, equipment). Each department produces a budget.
Funds assign revenues for the city and parish government expenses. Most are dedicated to specific services like drainage, roads or parks. For instance, a dedicated drainage tax flows to the drainage fund to cover drainage-related expenses. General funds account for undedicated money.
What’s in the Budget?
Because Lafayette has a consolidated government, its budget includes revenues and expenses for city and parish functions. LCG reports budgets for each department and for capital improvements.
The Budget Explorer sorts and categorizes each department according to its function, making it easier to understand how resources are allocated in our community.
Notes / Sources
This visualization totals $750 million. Some items are duplicated to accurately reflect costs by category.
- Mayor-President, CAO (p. 123)
- Legal, City Prosecutor (p. 133)
- Finance (p. 137)
- Community Development & Planning (p. 227)
- Innovation & Technology (p. 153)
- Council Offices (p. 114)
- Registrar of Voters (p. 120)
- City Court, City Marshal (p. 118)
- District Court, District Attorney (p. 119)
- Parish Corrections, Coroner (p. 121)
- Police (p. 159)
- Fire (p. 167)
- Public Works (p. 175)
- Drainage (p. 191)
- Transportation (p. 199)
- Major roads, drainage and building projects (p. 297)
- Major utilities projects (p. 313)
- Equipment purchases (p. 321)
How is the Budget made?
There are essentially three phases to LCG’s budget process:
- Proposal: The mayor-president and his administration propose a budget.
- Review: The councils review and amend it.
- Adoption: The mayor-president signs off, with the power to veto amendments.
At final adoption, the mayor-president may veto the councils’ changes. That veto can be overridden by four or eight votes depending on if the line item is solely funded by the city or the parish or jointly funded.
It doesn’t stop there. Budgets are living documents, and they’re adjusted throughout the year by the councils and administration through mid-year budget amendments.
Review is where most of the action is during the budget-making process. The councils hold hearings, working through the budget line by line and proposing amendments. At the end of that process, the councils vote on amendments, some individually if there’s a dispute; the rest as a group.
Amendments are where the public has the most opportunity for impact. Every line item in the budget can be changed if enough council members and/or the mayor-president want them to. And that happens regularly, especially when council members hear from their constituents.
How to Participate
The most direct and immediate way you can engage in the budget-making process is to attend or watch the budget hearings. Here’s the schedule:
- Aug. 4 – Drainage, Transportation, Public Works (Joint)
- Aug. 9 – Streets, Utilities, Public Safety, Parks & Rec (City)
- Aug. 11 – Parking, Criminal Justice & Corrections, Health, Library, Elections (Parish)
- Aug. 11 – Community Development & Planning, City Court, City Marshal, Disaster Response, Administration (Joint)
- Aug. 16 – Public Hearing
- Aug. 30 – Wrap Up and Amendments
- Sept. 8 – Final Adoption
After budget review, there is a public hearing. You’ll only get three minutes to speak, but it provides a direct channel for your voice.
Public comment is available during final adoption. The public can weigh in on amendments as they’re considered for vote.
Contact your Council rep
The best way to get involved is to engage your council representative directly. Some are responsive. Some aren’t. Don’t let that discourage you.
- Have a question about a project in your district? Email your council rep.
- Are you part of an organization impacted by budget? Request a meeting with them.
- Upset about a decision? Tell a friend. Write a letter. Post it on social media. Organize a protest.
- Happy about a decision? Tell a friend. Write a letter. Post it on social media. Organize a celebration.
- Are you not getting the answers you need? Tell a reporter. Pressure never hurts. You can email us here.
There’s nothing wrong with advocating for what you believe in. Our elected representatives do respond to public pressure. Find your council district here and email your council rep at one of the addresses below:
Let Us Know
Tell us what issues matter most to you. Should LCG spend more money on parks? What about transportation or drainage?
Find Out More
Local media turned up the heat on the mayor-president in August, reporting that may be turning into big-time investigations.
There are some good ideas in this year’s proposed budget. And some really bad ones.
Here is a selection of items on the agendas for this week’s meetings of the City and Parish councils
The firm’s creation, timed as LCG fuels a local construction boom, creates a minefield of potential conflicts.
This year’s budget includes dozens of projects worth $419 million over the next five years. Here’s how it works and what’s in it.
There has been no public accounting of how much three drainage lawsuits could ultimately cost. The cases could blow multimillion-dollar holes in LCG’s budget.
LCG’s last two budget cycles were mirror images. M-P Josh Guillory’s first budget was notable for its cuts, his second for its spending. And this one? Maybe a reckoning of the two.
Engaging in this budget-making process can be daunting. It doesn’t have to be.
Other Coverage? Better Name Needed
The Parish Council appoints all but one library board member and appointed Robert Judge in a controversial move.Source: The Advocate
LUS is asking for 3% increases in its base rate each year for the next two years. It is also asking to increase water rates by 8% and sewer rates by 9.5% a year for the next three years.
Source: The Advertiser
Lafayette Parish Council Finance Committee Chairman Kevin Naquin wants to remove from the proposed 2022-23 budget large pay raises for directors and other non civil service employees of Lafayette Consolidated Government.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory proposed pay raises in excess of $30,000 for some administrators who serve at his pleasure. Also in the proposed budget are raises between $8,000 and $20,000 for council administrative staff.
Source: The Advocate
Mayor-President Josh Guillory is planning $211,000 in raises for his department directors in next year’s Lafayette Consolidated Government budget after 2% raises were approved in June.
Annual raises ranging from $5,000 to $38,000 were included for 11 department directors in Guillory’s proposed 2023 budget, which was revealed Tuesday.
Source: The Advertiser