by Kevin Allman
In an appearance before New Orleans City Council earlier this month, deputy mayor Andy Kopplin told the council that Mayor Mitch Landrieu would be having seven community budget meetings in August and September — one in Districts A, B and D and two in C and E. District C would have meeting on the West and East Banks, while District E would have meetings in the Lower 9th Ward and in eastern New Orleans:
Only five meetings have been announced, however — one in each district — and in an email this afternoon, Landrieu spokesman Ryan Berni indicated those plans have changed, saying, "We have five meetings this year, one in each council district. ... As you know, we take community engagement in the budget process very seriously. Our budgets the last two years have incorporated community input gathered from community meetings and community members. We'll do the same this year."
District C Eastbankers, meanwhile, will be holding their own meeting tomorrow night "In order to give voice to the concerns and wishes of the many District C East Bank citizens who, for whatever reason, could not attend last night's budget meeting." Among the groups that will be there: VCPORA, French Quarter Citizens, French Quarter Management District, Historic Faubourg Treme Association, Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, and Bywater Neighborhood Association.
The meeting will be held at St. Mark's Church (1130 N. Rampart Street) from 6-7:30 p.m., and organizers have invited District C councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer's office and the Landrieu administration, both of which are sending staffers. "We will have a representative at their meeting to listen," Berni confirmed.