New Orleans Mayor’s European trips drawing criticism from the community, council members aiming to cap Cantrell’s travel expenses

New Orleans city council leaders are taking a step towards capping Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s travel after two recent trips to Europe brought on a lot of criticism from leaders and community members.Her expenditures on trips to Switzerland and France are drawing a lot of complaints and concerns that Cantrell is leaving the city, while there is a lot in disarray from stalled projects to surging crime.Those critics say her time and money should be focused on cleaning up the city. Many are asking why did Cantrell leave the country now? She tells WDSU that, “ there is always a right time to conduct the city’s business especially expand our cultural footprint that drives the local economy. Making sure that we’re making those connections that only embrace our cultural barriers.” Major LaToya Cantrell’s recent trips are now being scrutinized, some say her priorities should be focused locally on crime and the city’s economy. “It’s a shame that our major she takes lavish vacations on the taxpayers’ money while people are dying in the city of crime,” said one community member speaking at a city council meeting Tuesday. It’s not just community members who are concerned about how money is being spent. That’s why city council president Helena Moreno and Vice President JP Morrell filed legislation capping non-essential travel expenses for city elected officials at $1,000 per trip. Non-essential trips would essentially stop trips like the ones Cantrell recently took to Switzerland and the French Riviera to reinforce sister city agreements .But just how much money did these two celebratory trips cost? The answer is we don’t know after multiple public records request the city continues to not give us that information. So we went to the major for that number and she says she does not know.“Trips to sister cities no,” Cantrell said. “I do business on behalf of the city not just an isolation of one sister city that you just mentioned. It’s comprehensive in regards to the business, but I do on behalf of the city. So no I don’t know offhand just looking through the tunnel I look at the whole.”Regarding not knowing how much the trips are costing WDSU’s investigative reporter Cassie Schirm asked the mayor do you understand why people are concerned? She replied, “I don’t know what you’re asking me,” and walked off. This isn’t the first time Cantrell’s spending has been questioned, in 2019 the city spent thousands of dollars for Cantrell and staff to go to Ghana for an essence event and when she was on city council she was investigated for misusing her city credit card charging $9,000 dollars for food and various Walmart runs. If voted through, this would impact more people than the mayor, it would be placed on council members as well. The ordinance would require quarterly reports of travel by elected officials. Council members tabled the discussion from Tuesday to Aug. 4 and WDSU will continue to follow the story.

New Orleans city council leaders are taking a step towards capping Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s travel after two recent trips to Europe brought on a lot of criticism from leaders and community members.

Her expenditures on trips to Switzerland and France are drawing a lot of complaints and concerns that Cantrell is leaving the city, while there is a lot in disarray from stalled projects to surging crime.

Those critics say her time and money should be focused on cleaning up the city.

Many are asking why did Cantrell leave the country now? She tells WDSU that, “ there is always a right time to conduct the city’s business especially expand our cultural footprint that drives the local economy. Making sure that we’re making those connections that only embrace our cultural barriers.”

Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s recent trips are now being scrutinized, some say her priorities should be focused locally on crime and the city’s economy.

“It’s a shame that our major she takes lavish vacations on the taxpayers’ money while people are dying in the city of crime,” said one community member speaking at a city council meeting Tuesday.

It’s not just community members who are concerned about how money is being spent.

That’s why city council president Helena Moreno and Vice President JP Morrell filed legislation capping non-essential travel expenses for city elected officials at $1,000 per trip.

Non-essential trips would essentially stop trips like the ones Cantrell recently took to Switzerland and the French Riviera to reinforce sister city agreements.

But just how much money did these two celebratory trips cost? The answer is we don’t know after multiple public records request the city continues to not give us that information. So we went to the major for that number and she says she does not know.

“Trips to sister cities no,” Cantrell said. “I do business on behalf of the city not just an isolation of one sister city that you just mentioned. It’s comprehensive in regards to the business, but I do on behalf of the city. So no I don’t know offhand just looking through the tunnel I look at the whole.”

Regarding not knowing how much the trips are costing WDSU’s investigative reporter Cassie Schirm asked the mayor do you understand why people are concerned? She replied, “I don’t know what you’re asking me,” and walked off.

This isn’t the first time Cantrell’s spending has been questioned, in 2019 the city spent thousands of dollars for Cantrell and staff to go to Ghana for an essence event and when she was on city council she was investigated for misusing her city credit card charging $9,000 dollars for food and various Walmart runs.

If voted through, this would impact more people than the mayor, it would be placed on council members as well. The ordinance would require quarterly reports of travel by elected officials.

Council members tabled the discussion from Tuesday to Aug. 4 and WDSU will continue to follow the story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *