Posted: Nov 5, 2013 4:19 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Nov 5, 2013 6:47 PM
PORT ALLEN- Mayor Deedy Slaughter opened up Tuesday about her decision to veto the city's budget.
It's the Mayor's third veto since she's been in office. It's a sign of tension between her and some council members. Some are questioning the timing of the veto and wonder if the City actually has a budget.
Slaughter told News 2 she is confident a budget will be passed soon, but that could be too late as some city accounts are already drying up. When asked why she waited until the last day to veto the budget, Slaughter defended her actions.
"I didn't wait until the eleventh hour," Slaughter said. "There is a revised statute saying the number of days you have to veto a budget, and I made that deadline."
At issue is how the city will pay its bills. The council has been operating on last year's budget after the council could not agree with the mayor on what works best for the city.
"We have time until December, and hopefully we will meet the deadline," Slaughter said.
Contrary to what Slaughter said during our interview, Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain has expressed deep concern about the city's budget. McCain has said in the past that some accounts are in danger of running out of money, and there could be a shortage of money to pay firefighters in December.
"According to what I know we are operating on 50 percent of the budget, and that's all I can give you," Slaughter said.
Although the mayor was vague about getting bills paid, she set the record straight when it came to the recall election against her.
"I'm not concerned," Slaughter said.
But she is at odds with the parish registrar over the number of people who have voted so far.
"When I ran, that turnout was high," Slaughter said. "Matter of fact, voter numbers was a record for this parish. So I'm not sure who you talked to at voter register office, maybe you want to go back and check that."
"Saturday it's well known was a record," Parish Registrar Stacy Ryan said. "618 in person, in just the City of Port Allen, the last two days until now is steady."
As this divided community tries to decide what's best for Port Allen, elected leaders will decide what's next as bank accounts continue to dry up.