Lafayette’s city and parish councils made minor changes to the administration’s budget, approving the mayor-president’s spending plan and revenue projections unanimously.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put a stop to spot dredging almost as soon as the City Council funded it in May. Only $500,000 of the millions budgeted have been spent since.
This commits more than half of the city of Lafayette’s federal allocation to projects that do not address the pandemic or its economic impact.
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.
Much of the spending in Guillory’s plan was of questionable eligibility, and the administration struggled to make the case for moving ahead now with so much uncertainty.
Too many of the proposed projects deliver questionable returns, create unfunded maintenance liabilities, and inexplicably use parish dollars to pay for city responsibilities.
8/17 Council Preview: Showtime for Guillory’s ARPA budget; flood control projects; COVID testing for LCG employees
Here’s a selection of items on the agendas for this week’s meetings of the City and Parish councils.
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.
In two budgets proposed Tuesday, the Guillory administration showered funding on infrastructure and Downtown Lafayette. But in its rescue plan budget, the administration allocated little to no money for direct economic aid, housing or attacking the pandemic.
The lack of engagement might be forgivable if the proposal was amazing, but it’s not. We need to start over from scratch.