GiveNOLA Day, a one-day online giving event, is coming up on May 7th, and there’s an opportunity to support your favorite dysfunctional city.
According to a draft press release found in a dumpster behind City Hall, New Orleans is tripling the fees of red light, speed, and school zone camera tickets this Tuesday on GiveNOLA Day to help fund the cash-strapped Sewerage & Water Board. The release also noted in a scratched out paragraph labeled “not needed” that the city will be lowering the speed threshold of all cameras but did not indicate what the limit will be.
Just prior to canceling a press conference last week to announce the agreement, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, without causing daymares, somehow had reached a deal with Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans hospitality industry leaders to direct more funding toward the city’s ailing infrastructure despite previously praising it.
The agreement called for the city to receive $48 million in mismanaged funding for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board and up to $27 million in recurring slush revenue earmarked for Cantrell’s credit card balances.
With that deal seemingly on ice for the moment and the city’s infrastructure crumbling more with every passing second, locals will get the chance to help its city in need.
“We deserve the best in New Orleeands, and it all starts with the people,” said Mayor Cantrell.
A major revenue source, red light and speed cameras provide a quick windfall of people’s hard-earned money and, with Cantrell’s latest plan, the city will triple the fees of every ticket a driver gets on GiveNOLA Day as “donations.” This includes all cameras previously shut off — which now will be activated. School zone cameras also will be turned on even if the schools are out for the summer.
“We have a culture of giving in New Orleans and the generosity of our people is astounding especially,” Cantrell noted. “Last year’s GiveNOLA Day raised $5.6 million. Off the record, the cameras will probably generate that in the first hour.”
Critics of the move say the Sewerage & Water Board, let alone the city itself, should not get more money when it can’t responsibly manage the funds it already receives.
“If I could put all of our city’s officials on a plane to get them the hell out of here, I would definitely,” said Uptown resident John Bialas, who believes the city is eternally cursed with corruption and incompetence. “But there won’t be access to the new clusterport anytime soon, so we’re stuck with them. They’re smart buggers when it comes to self-preservation.”
GiveNOLA Day will run on Tuesday, May 7th from 12:01 a.m. to midnight — and probably indefinitely for the cameras. We’ll just have to wait for the crumpled up draft press release not announcing it.