The City of Hammond’s 2020-2021 year budget to cause controversy

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) – On Tuesday, the Hammond City Council held their budget meeting for the year 2020-2021. While some are happy with funding decisions, others are not.

Earlier this month, some Hammond police officers say, they were under the impression that their department could be facing cuts because of rumors that the Hammond City Council would decrease their funding. 

“That comment or statement that was made on actually defunding was never a comment that was actually made,” Hammond City Councilman for District 1, Kip Andrews told WGNO.

While the police budget was spared, other areas like the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, Kenney Recreation Center and the Hammond Streets Department all took a hit to the tune of about $354,500.

According to City Councilwoman Carlee White-Gonzales, these cuts were mandated due to some controversial additions. “$100,000 to the city council to acquire their own attorney,” said Gonzales. “$30,000 for the city council to get car allowances for the fiscal year.”

While the majority of city council ruled in favor of the new attorney and car allowance – two to three- Ms. Gonzales was opposed. City Councilman Kip Andrews voted in favor of the new allowances. 

“At this present time and moment, I don’t see anything wrong. It helps out with us doing things around, moving around, getting around,” Andrews shared.

The council president says, the members are now divided over funding options but she’s hopeful her team will get back on the same page.

“We’re supposed to be stewards of the taxpayer money and I want to do that well and do that the way my district and the other citizens of Hammond want us to do it,” said Gonzales.

The City of Hammond’s new budget will kick in on July 1st, 2020 and last until June 30th, 2021. 

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