Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Orleans elections 5/2/15: Another collaborative anti-oppression / anti-bullshit voting guide!

Hello, and welcome back to the New Orleans Collaborative Anti-Oppression  / Anti-Bullshit Voting Guide!

We have (another) election day coming up on May 2nd because why not.

No really. There are only two propositions to vote on, which is a good tactic to ensure that only a handful of overeager civic-minded wingnuts get their way because nobody else is going to bother to vote. Also, this is on a Jazz Fest Saturday. Way to be in tune with the populace, City of New Orleans!

Don't be discouraged, however: You too can have your chance to be an overeager civic-minded wingnut who gets your way!

Here's what's happening:

Law Enforcement District Proposition (Millage)

Shall the Sheriff of Orleans Parish, as the governing authority of the Law Enforcement District of the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana (the "District"), levy a tax of not exceeding 2.8 mills on all property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $9,366,050 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of 10 years, beginning with the year 2016 and ending with the year 2025, for the purpose of providing additional funding for the operation, maintenance and upkeep of jails and related facilities, the District and the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, with said millage levied each year to be reduced by the millage rate levied that year for the District's currently outstanding General Obligation Bonds?

Ahhhh didn't we just reject this in November? Basically Sheriff Gusman is trying to maintain a flow of tax revenue to run his jail, in this case, shifting expenditures from capital campaign debt to...other unspecified budget items. And apparently he's allowed to take us to the polls whenever he wants. Some say the money will help pay for reforms mandated by the federal consent decree. We call bullshit. Gusman can't run a decent jail (if there is such a thing) to save his life. This proposition gives the sheriff "wider latitude in how he spends" money allocated to his special so-called Law Enforcement District, of which he is the sole governing agent. Why continue to fund this ineptitude? Vote NO.

Parishwide Public Library Proposition (New Millage)

Shall the City of New Orleans (the "City") be authorized to levy and collect annually, in addition to any other authorized tax, a special ad valorem tax not to exceed 2.5 mills on all property subject to taxation within the City (an estimated $8.25 million reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of 25 years, beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2040, which tax shall be collected in the same manner as all other ad valorem taxes and which shall be dedicated to and used by the New Orleans Public Library system for the purpose of adequately funding its continued operations, said tax to be levied and collected in addition to the current 3.14 mills previously approved by the voters of New Orleans for the benefit of the City's public libraries, which current 3.14 mills shall expire December 31, 2021?

The library is running out of money (again), and doing a bake sale fundraiser through property taxes. We'll probably see a similar proposition in 2021, when its other tax mills expire. Despite a general lack of budgetary transparency in City-funded public services, we do love our libraries. Hey, we probably couldn't read/write this nifty voting guide without them! If you want to see your 7th Ward library reopen, and avoid drastic cuts to programming and open-hours, Vote YES.


  1. Right, there will be another vote in 2021 (definitely, I think, hah). That vote, however, would be to maintain the current levels of support (assuming this passes), rather than to raise the taxes again. If that one AND this one fail, there will be no funding at all for libraries, and they will all close. But that seems unlikely.

    Thanks again Shtetl Chic for the wonderful voting guide.

    Ariel Farrar (local public librarian)

  2. For more information about the upcoming library millage, visit

  3. For details about the library millage, visit