Legislative bodies appropriate money, not the executive branch. But that’s exactly what’s been happening at LCG for more than a decade in conflict with a pair of attorney general opinions.
OPINION: Fueled by debt, Guillory’s budget proposes largest capital spending spree in city’s history
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.
There’s a Cold War between the mayor-president and the City Council that could flare up at any time. The city faces a slew of controversial issues, while the parish’s finances continue to teeter on the brink of collapse, and consolidation is put on trial. These are the major stories I’ll be tracking at LCG this year.
While Lafayette’s economic forecast isn’t bright, it’s not near as dark as the mayor-president has made it out to be. That means the City Council can avoid drastic cuts.
It’s not surprising that the decision to shutter widely used cultural and community facilities has sparked significant public outcry. But it’s a choice — not a necessity.
The gist: This week’s council meetings include a number of items that will tee up bigger projects and decisions to come affecting everything from sewer capacity and Vermilion flooding to how the budgeting process will work and how parks will operate.