It's "Budgeting for Outcomes" season in New Orleans again — and this year it has come early.
The annual City Hall budgeting process begins with a series of community meetings in each City Council district — usually in late August. This year, the meetings begin this week.
Following last year's meetings on the $537 million 2015 budget, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said residents wanted more funding for public safety, job creation, recreation and blight reduction. "We heard you loud and clear," the mayor said in his budget address to the City Council last October.
But the Committee For a Better New Orleans (CBNO) found that message may not have been clear enough. The CBNO People's Budget New Or-leans (PB NOLA) project gathered 60 people last fall at Tulane City Center to recreate a budget meeting process, but put residents in charge of exactly where the money went. More than half of the" budget summit" participants attended Landrieu's town hall meetings, and all of those participants said their input was not valued and that their voices were not reflected in the finished budget. CBNO said a solution was clear: hold the budget meetings earlier. That's happening this year.
Here's the full schedule:
District D: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday, July 13, Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral (1937 Mirabeau Ave.)
District C: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, Alice M. Harte Charter School (5300 Berkley Drive)
District B: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, KIPP Central City Academy (2514 Third St.)
District A: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, July 30, Lakeview Christian Center (5885 Fleur de Lis Drive)
District E: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center (1616 Caffin Ave.)
Each meeting begins with a community resource fair at 5:30 p.m., followed by the meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.