With a set of vetoes, the mayor-president has boxed the City Council in again, setting the stage to spend city money without their approval.
The roles have reversed from the 2020 budget cycle, and now the City Council ought to play budget hawk.
Too many of the proposed projects deliver questionable returns, create unfunded maintenance liabilities, and inexplicably use parish dollars to pay for city responsibilities.
Mayor-President Guillory wants the City Council to approve a $406 million five year capital improvement program that would saddle the city with $180 million in new debt. Yet he hasn’t revealed plans, garnered public input, or addressed long-term maintenance liabilities for most of these projects. The City Council should tread carefully.
Projecting historically big increases in sales tax revenue, he is championing a quarter billion dollar increase in the city’s five-year capital outlay plan, including $132 million of new debt.
The lack of engagement might be forgivable if the proposal was amazing, but it’s not. We need to start over from scratch.
The marriage that is consolidated government is crumbling before our eyes, with both the City and Parish Councils failing to follow the fundamentals of healthy relationships. Something’s got to change.
The American Rescue Plan Act is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make our community better, one we can’t afford to waste.
Most of the Protect the City Committee’s attention has been focused on how consolidation isn’t working for the city. But consolidation is hurting not just the city but the rest of the parish as well.
Since consolidation, the city of Lafayette has spent more than $100 million propping up the parish’s perpetually faltering finances. $100 million can buy a lot of opportunity.
The past and current mayor-president have used loopholes to appoint unqualified directors for LUS and LUS Fiber without the City Council’s approval.
Rather than contribute constructively to the important community dialog about the future of consolidated government, Guillory chose to pollute the waters by twisting the truth to fit his preferred narrative. The city and parish of Lafayette deserve better.