New Orleans City Council
   
 
In this issue

Councilmember Willard-Lewis Launches "Lil' Easy" Transit Service in the Lower Ninth Ward

Councilmember Head & Central City Health Coalition Host Community Health Fair

City Council January 22, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary

Councilmember Fielkow to Bring Open Meetings Law Legislation to February 5th Council Meeting

City Council January 12, 2009 Special Meeting Summary

Addresses Sanitation Department Performance Audit

City Council January 8, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary

Extends Temporary Housing Structure Removal Deadline in District "D"

Councilmember Fielkow and Community Members Host Inaugural "A Dream & A Goal MLK Weekend Classic"

 

 
2009 Newsletters

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NOLA Council News
January 31, 2009   Vol.2, No.3

Councilmember Willard-Lewis
Launches "Lil' Easy" Transit Service
In the Lower Ninth Ward

(January 26, 2009)

Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis, in partnership with The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Board of Commissioners and Veolia Transportation, hosted an outdoor ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the launch of The "Lil' Easy", a new transit service for the Lower Ninth Ward.

The “Lil’ Easy” transit service is specially designed to meet the transit needs of the Lower Ninth Ward community. The service combines three main bus stops, which are also transfer points, with 24 new flexible stops spread throughout the neighborhood.

The ceremony was attended by Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Council Vice President Arnie Fielkow, District "E" Councilmember Willard-Lewis, representatives from RTA and Veolia Transportation, and many Ninth Ward community members.

For more information on the "Lil' Easy" call (504) 827-7433 or visit www.norta.com.

To view Announcement click here.


Councilmember Head & Central City Health Coalition
Host Community Health Fair

(January 23, 2009)

Councilmember Stacy Head, in partnership with The Central City Health Coalition, hosted a Community Health Fair including free flu shots, blood pressure screenings, LaCHIP Enrollment, HIV testing, a men's health chat and seminars on depression and stress.

The health fair, held in Central City at Allie Mae Williams Auditorium, was attended by many District “B” community members.

Sponsors of the event included: Metropolitan Human Services District, City of New Orleans Health Department, Department of Health and Hospitals, Covenant Presbyterian Urban Ministry Institute, Central City Economic
Opportunity Corporation, Tulane University School of Medicine,
New Orleans Children's Health Project, Central City Behavioral Health Center, Central City Partnership and the New Orleans Police Department, 6th District.

The Central City Health Coalition is spearheaded by the Central City Partnership. The Central City Partnership is a collaboration of community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, public schools, universities, law enforcement and government agencies, community leaders and residents. The mission of the partnership is to revitalize the New Orleans Central City Community by promoting health and wellness and increasing access to care and services.

To view complete Announcement click here.


City Council January 22, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
(January 22, 2009)

The Council passed an Ordinance repealing provisions of the City Code relative to the Office of Municipal Investigation, and introduced on first reading an Ordinance expediting the construction of five libraries throughout the City.

Additionally, the Council received a presentation on the City's public schools and recognized the many people whose efforts made the reopening of the Mahalia Jackson Theatre possible.

Addresses Presentation on New Orleans Public Schools

Leslie Jacobs, Founder of Educate Now! - a non-profit dedicated to effective and sustainable reform of New Orleans public schools, came before the Council to give a presentation on the state and transformation of New Orleans public schools.

Jacobs discussed school performance measures, improvement rates, community involvement, the success of charter schools, demographics, support from state and non-profits, as well as internal school financing.

Additionally, Orleans Parish School Board President Woody Koppel, District 3 Board Member Brett Bonin, and Chief Financial Officer Stan Smith came before the Council to give a brief update on the progress of Orleans Parish schools.

Addresses Changes in City Code Re: Office of Municipal Investigation

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,270, authored by Councilmember Head, to
repeal provisions of the Code of the City of New Orleans relative to the Office of Municipal Investigation (OMI).

The Council decided to eliminate this department during the Budget process, as the duties of the OMI are duplicative with the duties of the Office of Inspector General.

District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head said, "We as a Council worked very hard this year to present a cost-efficient and fair Budget. Through the elimination of the OMI we were able to redirect funds previously allocated to that office to other agencies and departments."

Recognizes Mahalia Jackson Theatre Contributors

Director of Capital Projects Bill Chrisman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Cynthia Sylvain-Lear, Head of the Office of Arts & Entertainment Ernest Collins and Executive Director of the Canal
Street Development Corp. Cindy Connick, came before the Council to introduce the many people whose work and dedication made the reopening of the Mahalia Jackson Theatre possible.

Cynthia Sylvain-Lear called out the names of all the businesses, agencies, departments and others who worked to make the grand reopening of the Theatre a reality. Many individuals involved in the reopening of the Theatre were present in the Council Chamber to be recognized for their efforts.

Supports Construction of Five New Libraries

The Council introduced on first reading Ordinance Calendar No. 27,324, authored by Councilmember Clarkson, to add five additional projects to the list of approved projects to
permit design-build procedures to be implemented, all of them public libraries.

The design-build method expedites the City's recovery projects by streamlining the contracting process, making it possible for one company to get a combined contract for both the design and build of a project.

The City of New Orleans previously passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,059 authorizing 21 projects to be developed through the design-build procedures developed and approved by the Division of Administration, Office of Facility Planning and Control for utilization by the City of New Orleans.

The five additional projects are Algiers Regional Library, Nora Navra Library, Norman Mayer Library, Robert E. Smith Library and New Orleans East Regional Library.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Fielkow to Bring Open Meetings Law Legislation To February 5th Council Meeting
(January 15, 2009)

New Orleans City Council Vice President Arnie Fielkow announced his intent to move forward on legislation further opening up the City of New Orleans professional service contracting process to the public. Council Vice President Fielkow plans to bring the legislation to the Council Meeting on February 5, 2009. 
 
The legislation filed by Vice President Fielkow involves both an Ordinance directed towards the Executive Branch of city government and a Motion directed towards the Legislative Branch of city government. Both pieces of legislation aim to increase transparency in city contracting processes.

The Ordinance Calendar No. 27,069 reinforces that every professional service contract procurement process done by the City is subject to the state's Open Meetings Law.

The Motion M-08-380 further refines the City Council's professional service contracting process by ensuring its compliance with the state's Open Meetings Law.

The legislation, originally introduced in August, has been held up pending review by the state Attorney General's office. The Attorney General recently issued an affirmation of his original October 15, 2008 opinion on the matter, which maintains the City Council's right to pass Vice President Fielkow's legislation.

To view the Attorney General's October 15, 2008 letter of opinion, click here

To view the Attorney General's January 9, 2009 letter of opinion, click here.  

To view complete News Release click here.


City Council January 12, 2009 Special Meeting Summary
(January 12, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council, in a Special Council meeting, addressed five Ordinances continued from the Regular Council meeting of January 8th.

The Council passed Ordinances requesting monthly notice of performance from the Department of Sanitation and Contractors, as well as amending the 2009 Budget of Revenues and 2009 Budget of Expenditures.

Additionally, the Council unanimously agreed to compromise with Mayor Nagin to continue the "enhanced cleaning services" in the French Quarter through October 2009.

Addresses 2009 Budget Items 

The Council passed the following Ordinances related to the 2009 Budget:

- Ordinance Calendar No. 27,272 to amend the 2009 Operating Budget of Revenues to adjust the estimate for Other Financing Sources to conform with the 2009 Operating Budget of Expenditures, and establish the Community Disaster Loan (CDL) at approximately $2.4 million

- Ordinance Calendar No. 27,273 to amend the 2009 Operating Budget of Expenditures in the following ways:

1. Adjust the reduction of appropriations for other operating expenses in departments from 5.58% to 3%, excepting criminal justice and public safety departments

2. Remove the appropriation for the Office of the Indigent Defender, and state the Council's dedication to assist the Office in pursuing state assistance to add a fee onto red light camera tickets to generate funding of approximately $600,000 (note: funding for this office was appropriated as part of Ordinance Calendar No. 27,274)

3. Adjust the appropriation for the Office of Inspector General

4. Restore $30 million CDBG funds from the reserve

5. Replaces $500,000 appropriation of the Chief Administrative Office

- Ordinance Calendar No. 27,274 to amend the 2009 Operating Budget of Expenditures to transfer $500,000 of Other Operating expenses from the budget of the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) to the Office of the Indigent Defender

- Ordinance Calendar No. 27,289 to amend the 2009 Operating Budget of Expenditures to transfer funds within the budget of the Sanitation Department. This transfer results in a reduction of the reserve of Sanitation contracts from 50% to 25%

Addresses French Quarter Sanitation Services

The Council also unanimously agreed to compromise with Mayor Nagin to ensure that SDT continues to provide "enhanced cleaning services" in the French Quarter through October 2009.

To view complete News Release click here.


Addresses Sanitation Department Performance Audit
(January 12, 2009)

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,269, authored by Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, to require monthly notice of performance from the Department of Sanitation and Contractors.
 
Additionally, the Ordinance provides that an in-house performance-based audit of the Sanitation Department will be conducted.

Through the use of an in-house audit, the Council can re-allocate the funds that would have been used to pay for an external audit.

To view complete News Release click here.


City Council January 8, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
(January 8, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council passed an Ordinance temporarily extending the Temporary Housing Structure removal deadline in District "D", and adopted Resolutions honoring the memory of Reverend Marshall Truehill Jr., and honoring retiring Judges Raymond C. Bigelow, Dennis Waldron, C. Hearn Taylor and Justice Pascal F. Calogero for their years of service to the citizens of New Orleans.

The Council received a report from Dr. Juliet Saussy on the new public service announcement video showcasing the First Responders of New Orleans, as well as a presentation honoring Reverend C. James Smith for his years of dedication to the City Council.

Honors Memory of Reverend Marshall Truehill Jr.

As its first Order of Business, the Council passed Resolution R-09-2 honoring the memory of Reverend Truehill and acknowledging his vision, perseverance, and loyalty that paved the way for future generations.

Rev. Truehill's wife, Miranda Farr Truehill, along with friends and family, were present in the Council Chamber as the Council honored his legacy.

The Council recognized Rev. Truehill's religious leadership and community activism throughout the City of New Orleans. They also expressed their sympathy and deep gratitude to Rev. Truehill's family for his many years of service to the New Orleans community.

Recognizes Retiring Judges
 
The Council passed Resolutions R-09-3, R-09-4, R-09-5 and R-09-9, extending the Council's appreciation to Judge C. Hearn Taylor, Judge Dennis Waldron, Judge Raymond C. Bigelow and Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr. for their years of service.

Judge Raymond C. Bigelow and Judge Dennis Waldron appeared before the Council to receive recognition for their years of work in the City of New Orleans.

 

Honors Retiring Chaplain Rev. C. James Smith 

The Council honored Reverend C. James Smith for his years of service and dedication to the City Council.
 
Rev. Smith appeared before the Council, along with family, friends and community and religious leaders.
 
The Council issued a proclamation recognizing and honoring the Reverend for his 28 years of comfort, blessings and service to the City Council and all constituents.

 

 

Addresses Presentation on New Orleans First Responders Public Service Announcement

Dr. Juliet Saussy, along with other New Orleans First Responders, came before the Council to present the new public service announcement video showcasing First Responders of New Orleans.
 
Dr. Saussy informed the Council that the public service announcement was a collaborative effort by all First Responders, including EMS and Police and Fire departments.
 
The announcement showed First Responders in different areas of the City, demonstrating their commitment to serve and assist all citizens. The video highlighted the cultural diversity of the City by incorporating different languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, and Sign Language, throughout the announcement.

To view complete News Release click here.


Extends Temporary Housing Structure
Removal
Deadline in District “D”
(January 8, 2009)

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,299, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, temporarily suspending, for a three month period, all relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the City of New Orleans to allow the placement of Temporary Housing Structures on private property affected and damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Council District "D".

District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "This extension is designed to allow residents in District "D" to remain in their temporary housing structures while they continue to rebuild their homes."

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Fielkow and Community Leaders
Host Inaugural "A Dream & A Goal MLK Weekend Classic"

(January 7, 2009)


A diverse group of community leaders announced the inaugural 'A Dream & A Goal MLK Weekend Classic' in New Orleans. The historic occasion commemorated the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday while bringing together over 800 student-athletes, coaches and administrators from across New Orleans.

The two-day event kicked-off with 20 basketball games at four local high schools, followed by participation in the annual MLK Holiday March, and culminated in a public event celebrating the legacy of Dr. King at the Superdome.

The event was made possible through a generous donation by businessman John Georges and Georges Enterprises.

The community leaders spearheading this event include Council Vice President Fielkow, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNSF), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the MLK Holiday Planning Commission, George Shinn and the New Orleans Hornets, the Recovery School District, Orleans Parish School Board, the New Orleans Recreation Department, the Jewish Community Center and Hands On New Orleans.
 
In the weeks leading up to the 2009 Weekend Classic, all student-athletes participated in a community-service project with their respective schools.

More information is available at www.adreamandagoal.com

To view complete News Release click here.




 
 
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