Port Allen budget gets pushed back again

Photo provided by staff.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 11:47pm

Port Allen City Council members decided not to vote on a proposed budget from Mayor Deedy Slaughter Wednesday. Instead they set up a special meeting for Wednesday October 16 to continue the money conversation. The move comes after members questioned some of the math used by the mayor in the budget, and other problems noted in the budget.

"Total revenue is $9 million ($9,301,986). Total expenditures are $9.7 million ($9,723,971)," "We are operating under a $700 thousand deficit. I'm not prepared to do that," Councilman Hugh "Hootie" Riviere said.

"That's why they have an opportunity to look at the numbers. Do some computing of those numbers and come back here and make a decision," Mayor Slaughter said.

The mayor introduced a letter to the council at the beginning of the meeting that she said clarified questions she had received about her budget. In which she said she would no longer cut the salaries of the city's CFO and CAO.

Council members Hootie Riviere and R.J. Loupe told the mayor they didn't have enough time to review the changes that were given at the meeting, and were not prepared to vote on the budget Wednesday. Riviere said he still had concerns over how the mayor was coming up with the numbers of her budget.

"These are just round numbers grand totals. I want an Itemized list of how we arrived at these grand totals. That's all I ask for," Riviere said.

Some people living in Port Allen agreed.

"This is our tax payer money I don't want a bottom line. I want to know what my money's being used for," a concerned Port Allen resident said at the meeting.

The Mayor explained that she had prepared the budget with the help of "city employee" Dr. Ralph Slaughter.

"The numbers were taken from the previous budget. The only thing I did was went in to make changes to the areas that I needed to move my plan forward," Mayor Slaughter said.

Members of the crowed questioned what they called math errors in the proposed budget.

The mayor said: "Well there is typos. It's like you type something and it's accidental.(mistake)"

A new budget was supposed to take affect on July 1, but no "new" budget was ever approved by the city council. Since, then the city has operated under 50 percent of last years budget.

Mayor Slaughter supporters were on hand at the meeting. They asked the council to ignore their differences and pass the mayor's budget.

"I would like to see ya'll move together I would like to see ya'll work with the mayor," Richard Slaughter said.

For now the council and residents will have to wait and try again next Wednesday to get a budget approved.

"(If that fails) Worst case scenario we go back to the drawing board," Mayor Slaughter said. "We'll have to go at it once again. until a decision is made."


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