“If we’re really serious about changing where we get our power, then we need to get serious about who has it” Jackson Koeppel
Valerie Wilson, Robbin Shipp, Doreen Carer, Connie Stokes, and Liz Johnson: School Superintendent, labor commissioner, secretary of state, Lieutenant governor, and insurance commissioner, respectively.
This Charter change will institutionalize the contracting reforms that Mayor Landrieu put in place and enshrine the city’s disadvantage business enterprise (DBE) program in the charter. The goal is to level the playing field for small, local businesses and ensure that contracts are awarded based on what you know, not who you know. Without protection in the Charter, the next Mayor could reverse contracting reform and the disadvantaged business program could be eliminated with four votes and the stroke of a pen.
Louisiana State Representative Austin Badon said, “This measure strengthens the City’s commitment to ensuring contracting and DBE programs work for everyone. It is critical that we protect the changes already made as part of the City’s charter.”
District D Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “For the first time in our city’s history we will be able to enshrine the City’s DBE consideration, contracting and procurement policies into the City’s charger. This a significant step for our city, obligating all future administrations to establish and follow sound DBE and contracting practices. This is a testament to the future of New Orleans.” The City Charter Amendment on City Contracting has been endorsed by The Advocate, the Gambit and the Bureau of Governmental Research.
This proposition allows the City of New Orleans to pay for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office consent decree without raising taxes or cutting services.
This proposition will help the City pay for the consent decree with an existing millage – the 2.9 Law Enforcement District millage. Under current law, this revenue can only be spent to build things, but the City needs money to pay for operations at the jail. With the passage of this proposition, the City will not collect any more taxes. Rather, the City will have the flexibility to spend your tax dollars more wisely.
With its passage, as much as $8 million will be available in future years to pay for new court-ordered mental health treatment and medical care at the jail. However, if this proposition does not pass, the City still has to pay the bill. To pay for it, the City would have to cut city services.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman said, “A favorable vote for the Law Enforcement District Proposition will maintain the current tax rate while allowing for funds that are no longer needed for debt service to be shifted to the operations of the correctional complex. I am pleased to join the Mayor in voting on this measure.”
Business Council Chairman Paul Flower said, “The Business Council supports the Law Enforcement District Proposition because it is using an existing millage, not increasing taxes, to pay for mandated services. This is a good and smart way to proceed.”
Both the Sheriff and the Mayor are supporting this proposition. The Law Enforcement District Proposition has been endorsed by The Advocate, the Gambit, the League of Women Voters, The Collaborative and the Bureau for Governmental Research.