In order to remove Confederate-related monuments in the city without it being a burden to taxpayers, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top aide told the Advocate that a private donor has volunteered to finance the entire process.
The cost is apparently well under what New Orleans historians thought it would cost to remove and store the monuments, with the Landrieu’s administration saying it will total $125,000 for removal. Storage of the monuments has not been factored in just yet.
More importantly, however, is how the Landrieu administration has hand-picked what the city pays for when it comes to the monuments, which include PGT Beauregard’s City Park statue and Lee Circle, and what private donors pay for.
Landrieu’s administration will allow this private donor to pay for the costs of removing the monuments because it makes it appear as though the taxpayers will get off scot-free.
But, what the Landrieu administration is not telling the public is that leaving these monuments be would also not cost New Orleans taxpayers anything.
As the Hayride previously reporter, the Monumental Task Committee Inc. (MTC) in New Orleans is a 25 year-old non-profit dedicated to the upkeep of all historical monuments in the city and they do it for absolutely no charge to the city.
Whenever vandalism, or anything else happens, to any historical monuments in the city, they are the ones that come out and clean the monuments. And the city knows this. In fact, the city has known that MTC does this for decades now.
However, within the last year, the city has apparently spent $4,000 on upkeep for the monuments, even though they know that the MTC does this work for free.
If the city can show that the monuments are costing taxpayers money, it will give them all the more reason to want to remove them. But, the city never has to pay for upkeep which is why they admit that they do not even budget monument upkeep costs into the city budget.
This seems to be a pure effort to portray the monuments as costly, though, the city knows that the monuments do not cost them a dime.
Private donors and organizations seem to be only used by Landrieu’s administration when they help his cause to remove the monuments. But volunteer work and money to do the opposite will be denied.