saints (n.) - NFL franchise presently based in New Orleans; boondoggle (n.) - an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity; saintsdoggle (n.) - the Saints' potential relocation situation in New Orleans, and the resulting boondoggle by Louisiana to keep the team from leaving

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

State's chief Saints negotiator debating whether to accept 2006 salary

The front page of today's Lake Charles American Press features an AP story on how Louisiana is again seeking to borrow funds to make the annual $15 million payment to the New Orleans Saints, due July 5. According to the article, "State still grappling with Saints payment," the chairman of the Superdome commission and the state's top negotiator with the Saints, Tim Coulon, is undecided on whether he will accept the position's $50,000 salary for 2006, which is presently authorized in the 2006 state budget.

Whether Coulon is confident that the Saints will still be in New Orleans after the 2005 season was not mentioned, though if the team does leave, a chief negotiator obviously won't be a necessary expense.

As for the annual payment shortfall, the state is currently seeking $9 million to make the July 5 payment of $15 million. State Treasurer John Kennedy is quoted in the article as calling Louisiana's options "a last resort when you're down to virtually no alternative." The state is seeking a "revenue anticipation" loan, dedicating hopeful future tax revenue to make the payment in two weeks.

The blatant problem with such a plan was noted by Kennedy: "The obvious question is, if you use future revenues to pay back the revenue anticipation notes, what if your revenues don't increase? You're in the hole again."

It seems that such a hole will be a problem every July, if the Saints stay in Louisiana under the present arrangement.

As Matt Drudge would say: "Developing..."