Skip to comments.New Orleans mayor seeks aid, loans for shortfall
Posted on 11/04/2005 10:45:39 AM PST by abb
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - New Orleans is seeking federal aid and new loans to ride out a $204 million budget shortfall caused by the expected loss of all property tax revenue in the short term, the city's mayor said on Thursday. ADVERTISEMENT
"If we project out based on maintaining essential personnel and essential services throughout the year, the amount of money we're borrowing still leaves a gap of about $204 million," Nagin told Reuters in an interview.
"We're not bankrupt. We've been out of cash. We have a liquidity problem. But we have been careful to make sure that we continue to pay our debt service, which would cause all sorts of problems," Nagin said.
Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,000, forced tens of thousands of New Orleans businesses to close and left some 250,000 homes uninhabitable.
The city, which had a pre-storm population of almost half a million, is only expected to bounce back to about 250,000 in the short term given the dire shortage of housing.
Nagin said the city, which has still not recovered sufficiently to begin fining parking violators, did not expect to be able to collect any property tax revenue "any time soon."
In response, Nagin has cut general fund expenditures by over a third and laid off thousands of city staff.
"We have enough funds right now to operate until March next year, so that gives us some breathing room to try to figure out some solutions -- more federal resources come into play. We're talking to some banking institutions. And it just depends on how quickly on how the economy starts to come back," Nagin said.
New Orleans has over $530 million in general obligation bonds outstanding and $155 million in pension bonds, according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. Related entities such as the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority and the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board also have outstanding debt.
Nagin said that although aid had been slow in coming, the city was in the process of applying for $120 million in federal borrowing under the Community Disaster Loan program.
Forced to try to woo major businesses back to the city, Nagin said executives have told him they needed to see a strengthened levee system, better schools and streamlined government in order to invest again.
"They don't want to see the bloated government that we had in the past," said Nagin, a former cable television executive who faces a possible primary election in February.
Depends on what the definition of "is" is.
As in New Orleans is bankrupt.
This just screams for a book or movie: imagine being a mayor whose city moved away.
Only if Noggin' steps down first.
You are right..this Mayor (?) is a clone of the
Jesse Jackson school of.."get Whitie to dig in his
pocket" ..and keep him digging. Live with what you
have..don't keep living like you are really an
effective Mayor????????? Nitwit, Inc. Jake
No and H$ll NO!
If fewer citizens return then fewer svcs are needed.
There is no tax base from which to extract $ therefore there is no opportunity to siphon off funds to grease the palms of the local leftist political mafia. The obvious solution is to create a campaign to pressure the state or federal governments to send $ so that the local bottom feeders can maintain at least a semblance of their former lifestyles.
""They don't want to see the bloated government that we had in the past," said Nagin, a former cable television executive who faces a possible primary election in February."
That means you, old buddy.
What are you waiting for?
Get out of the way so that we can get started cleaning up your mess.
Take Blanco, Landrieu (both of them), and Broussard with you.
"They don't want to see the bloated government that we had in the past," said Nagin.
The bloated city payroll has been an abomination for decades ... Hizzoner did nothing to remedy that situation until now when there is no money to pay them. Shut the city down except for the garbage trucks. Hizzoner can stay "home" in Texas where his family lives.
Let services put into place "as needed" ... when needed ... until then, shut everything down.
Compared to prior NO mayors Nagin wasn't that bad as far as corruption goes. He was working on cleaning the city up prior to the storm. The most corrupt was probably Moon Landrieu and Marc Morial.
I was just going by what we have learned to be factual during and since Katrina . I hadn't even heard of him before that.
Keep in mind that the media hasn't been exactly truthful in their reporting. It's done as much damage to the state as the actual storm damage. Louisiana isn't the only state with these problems despite what the media has been portraying.
The state has been becoming more conservative in the last few years however NOLA was pretty much the lone bastion of liberal democratic control. Take a look at any major city and basically you will find similar problems. The storm revealed an ugly weak spot in the nation and that is the inner cities.
The thing is unless the dingbat governor had authorized somewhere to go Nagin had no authority outside the city limits of New Orleans. He had to have somewhere to put those nearly 500,000 people. SHE froze, his hands were tied. The shelters that could be used would have had to be north of interstate 10 because there are NONE south of the interstate in the state that could be used in a CAT 5 storm.
At the time the decision had to be made the whole state was still in the cone of probability. It's a logistics nightmare and it should have been handled better. Time was not on their side at all.
Nagin shouldn't have said most of what he said but hey we weren't the one's with all those people's lives in our hands either knowing that the possibility that many could have died. All of the scenarios before have said that the death count could be that high.
Bottom line, most of the blame is on Kathleen Blanko's shoulders. She failed and failed miserably. She did handle things much better with Hurricane Rita but of course none of that is reported in the media.
I don't know what made the man say all those things but it possibly could have been the pressure of not knowing if there were maybe 10,000 dead as the scenarios had predicted would happen. Also if he was getting his information from the MSM it wasn't exactly true either. Wasn't Michael Brown hounded by one of the reporters, I can't remember which one now, about watching the news coverage?
I am not trying to excuse anything but once the crisis settled down and the truth started coming out there were a lot of folks who were wrong about a lot of things and it's not just Nagin's fault that things went down the way they did.
I plan on it and you have a great weekend too.
LOL....compared to rabid pit bulls, hungry grizzly bears and great white sharks, rattlesnakes aren't that bad either....;-)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.