Parish (red) ink: What would you do?

Residents have a chance to weigh in on solving the budget crisis on the parish side of “consolidated” government.

Lafayette Parish is broke. Its budget already slashed by roughly 20 percent for the current budget year, it faces another sizeable cut in the next round of budget hearings, which begin next month.

Residents have an opportunity this evening to let a committee of the City-Parish Council know how they would handle cuts and revenue. The meeting with the council’s Funding Evaluations/Finance Liaison Committee — comprising two city-majority councilmen and two parish-majority councilmen: Kenneth Boudreaux and Bruce Conque, and Jay Castille and Kevin Naquin, respectively — begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council auditorium at City Hall.

The parish is facing a more than $3 million shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Nov. 1. That means the parish is expected to collect $3 million less in property- and sales taxes than it costs to provide services like drainage, fire protection, road and bridge maintenance, and other infrastructure needs in the unincorporated area of Lafayette Parish. How would you close the gap?