Port Allen residents ready for new budget

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POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 7:34pm

People living in Port Allen are frustrated their city is still operating on 50 percent of it's old budget almost two months into the fiscal year.

"The way things are going on in regards to the budget or not being done is extremely frustrating to all the citizens who care about this community," Jason Hammack, Port Allen resident.

Hammack said without a new budget taxpayers can't tell which direction the city is headed.

"The people who pay taxes in this town deserve to know what's being paid for, that way we know our tax money is being used in the most efficient manor," Hammack said.

Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter said she is ready to more the city forward..

"My hope is that when I re-introduce it will get passed and we will get passed that part of the agenda that we've been working on and that the city will move forward," Mayor Deedy Slaughter said.

She explained she plans on introducing the budget soon. She did not give an exact date for when she the new budget would be brought before the council.

"There are some other things that I'm working through. Once I get through that process I will reintroduce that budget," She said.

People living in Port Allen are worried if nothing changes soon it could start affecting city services.

"If they fix the budget they can get the cars fixed and get the patrolmen out here doing what they need to do," Bryant Thomas, Port Allen resident, said.

Right now Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown is urging officials to get a budget in the books soon, because his deputies desperately need new squad cars .

"When officers ride in a good clean vehicle that is working properly and not breaking down on them all the time they are more excited about coming too work and doing their job," Brown explained. "It's a big safety hazard for the public when vehicles are not running right. They are not patrolling like they are supposed to, because vehicles are always in the shop sometimes they have to double off put to in a car."

People living in Port Allen say the hold up with the budget is at city hall. They want to see city leaders step up and put their differences aside.

"They (the council members) are focusing in on things they don't need to be focus on. The budget to operate the city needs to be handled," said Thomas.

Other residents said the change has to start with the mayor.

"Buck stops with her. She needs to sit down with the CFO. She needs to sit down with the city council and work out a budget that takes care of everything through the next fiscal year," Hammack said.

Mayor Slaughter said she plans in the budget to address the issue with squad cars.

"I have also put in that budget something for the police department to get new vehicles," She said.

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