The New Orleans City Council has not yet formally voted to remove Robert E. Lee Circle, PGT Beauregard’s City Park statue, the Jefferson Davis monument or Liberty monument from the public view in the city.
However, that does not seem to be stopping Mayor Mitch Landrieu from doing what he wants.
Landrieu apparently began reworking the city’s budget a month ago to accommodate the removal of the monuments, even though the City Council has not decided on the issue, according to sources close to the Hayride.
Landrieu has allegedly carved out $5 million for the monuments debacle, with $3 million going towards removing and housing the monuments and $2 million being used to fight any legal battles the city is faced with upon removing the monuments.
Sources said Landrieu sought out machinery to remove the monuments a month ago and has apparently locked in warehouse space to store the monuments.
If Landrieu devised this comprehensive plan to remove the four monuments back in early August, then the public forums and meetings conducted over the last month by the Historic Landmark Commission (HLC), Human Relations Commission (HRC) and Vieux Carre Commission (VCC) meant absolutely nothing.
Back on July 9, Landrieu requested a 60-day period in which the public and various New Orleans commissions were asked to discuss what should be done, if anything, with the four monuments.
Half-way through that 60-day period, however, sources said Landrieu began determining how the monuments would be removed and how the city would pay for it.
Interestingly enough, the HLC, HRC and VCC all voted to remove the monuments within the last 30 days, when Landrieu apparently had already began figuring out how to remove the monuments one way or another.
Meanwhile, the City Council is expected to vote on the removal of the monuments as early as next week.
Last week, the Hayride exclusively reported how the Landrieu administration may have thrown tax dollars at one of the four monuments, only to claim down-the-road that the monuments were a tax burden to New Orleans residents.