ACADIA PARISH, La. (KLFY)- The city of Crowley has failed to adopt a budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year by the Sept. 1 deadline. Several procedures and processes were not followed correctly when the budget was first proposed.
This means the budget is now operating at 50 percent of last year’s budget.
Some council members are growing concerned saying the mayor isn’t in well enough health to perform in his role. They’re also saying there’s a major lack of communication between them and him.
“He needs to allow his mayor pro-tem to step in and take over his duties for him. I’m concerned for him and for his health,” Crowley Councilwoman Kim Stringfellow said.
Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux says he recently recovered from COVID-19. He’s still out of the office over a month later. But it didn’t stop him from issuing a stern warning- saying the council needed to pass a budget, or furloughs would happen.
“We’re waiting for the mayor, because it’s the mayor’s budget,” councilman Brad Core said. “We only review it after it’s presented to us to make sure everything is covered with department head needs and so forth.”
Both Stringfellow and Core said the mayor not meeting with department heads was one of the many issues as to why the budget wasn’t adopted.
The budget was supposed to be given to the council three to four months in advance. But, instead it was given three weeks before deadline. Also, a budget summary was never completed, which is required by state law.
“He’s a new mayor, we’re a predominantly new city council. We just want to work through everything and move crowley forward,” Stringfellow said.
There’s still six months of funding for the city, so they have until then to pass a budget before financial problems occur.
News 10 also reached out to the mayor and he issued the follow statement:
In regards to the Public Hearing held on Monday, August 31, and the Budget for FY 2020-2021, the Mayor asked me to forward his remarks below:
“As to the Public Hearing, the notice that was put in for publication did not have the adequate language so therefore it could not be voted on. As just described in the statement there will be a finding that will be issued by the auditors. The auditors will be the ones to determine that.
Regarding the Budget for FY 2020-2021, this administration gave the council a balanced budget and it was presented on time.
During a special meeting presenting the balanced budget, discussion ensued and it was asked by members of the council to allow department heads to present their requests. The proposed budget for FY 2020-2021 was already cut in order to balance due to several factors, including COVID-19, increases in insurance, worker’s compensation, and retirement.
Many municipalities are facing the same budget crisis. As a COVID-19 patient myself, recovering at home from an awful virus, I asked the revenue and finance chairman Alderman Jeff Cavell, and Mayor Pro Temp Steven Premeaux to sit in on individual meetings with each department head.
They have concluded their report and are submitting it to our city clerk. The clerk and I will review each request to see if it is at all possible for any adjustments.”