New Orleans City Council
   
 
In this issue

Council President Fielkow
Pushes for Teeth on Local and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Contract Compliance

Councilmember-at-Large Clarkson Statement: Thank You to the Broad Coalition of Community Leaders Who Helped Defeat Senate Bill 75 and Save
New Orleans' Master Plan

Councilmember Carter Speaks to Local Teens at
"Judge and Teen Day" Event at Orleans Parish Juvenile Court

Council Files Civil District Court Motion in Emails Case and Reaches Out to Citizens
Re: Email Communications with the Council

City Council June 18, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary

Councilmember Willard-Lewis Spearheads Legislation to Increase Taxicab Rates

Councilmembers Launch
"Lil' Easy" Public Transportation Service in Lakeview and Gentilly

Councilmember Midura Announces Recent Reopening of Oak Street

Councilmember Head Leads Business Outreach Tour Through District "B" Commercial Corridors

Councilmember Hedge-Morrell Expresses Disappointment
With Diversion of FEMA Funds

City Council June 4, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary

Councilmember Carter Presents Status Report on News and Happenings in District "C"

New Orleans Chosen as Site for 2014 National Association of Counties Annual Conference

Councilmembers Fielkow, Clarkson, Head and
Hedge-Morrell Attend Congressional Roundtable in
New Orleans to Discuss Recovery

 

 
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NOLA Council News
June 30, 2009   Vol.2, No.8

Council President Fielkow Pushes for Teeth on
Local and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Contract Compliance

(June 26, 2009)

Council President Arnie Fielkow encouraged the Administration to beef up its Office of Compliance in order to bolster enforcement of the City's now codified local and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contracting law.
 
During a joint meeting of the Special Development Projects and Economic Development and Budget committees, Councilmembers received testimony from Intergovernmental Relations Director Julie Schwam Harris that the Administration currently is preparing a comprehensive plan for its Compliance Office, which Harris said the Administration will be ready to present in 30 days.
 
Councilmember Fielkow stated he believes in the vital nature of such a reform, in order to ensure the success of Ordinance Calendar No. 27,520, the City's most recent law regarding fair distribution of contracts to small businesses and DBEs.
 
"This new local business and DBE law will pay dividends to this community for years to come," said Council President Fielkow. "But in order to have any effect, enforcement of the new law must have teeth. We must have not just passage of the law, but execution of the law."
 
Councilmember Fielkow, and Budget Committee Chair Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, who co-authored the legislation, requested the Administration to keep an "open dialogue" with the Council regarding the development of its new compliance plan. Upon completion of the proposed compliance reforms, a legislative agenda item will be placed on the agenda to codify the new enforcement strategies. Council President Fielkow expects these items will be complete for agenda placement either late July or early August.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember-at-Large Clarkson Statement:
Thank You to the Broad Coalition of Community Leaders
Who Helped Defeat Senate Bill 75 and Save New Orleans' Master Plan

(June 26, 2009)

The following is a statement issued from Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson regarding the recent defeat of Senate Bill 75, which if passed, would have required yet another vote of the people on the City’s master plan before it can acquire the force of law:

"Senate Bill 75, a measure that would have politicized and derailed the City's master planning process, was defeated on the House floor Wednesday night by a vote of 54 to 37.

"This significant win for New Orleans was the result of hours and hours of work by an extraordinary coalition of New Orleanians - neighborhood leaders from Lakeview to the Lower Ninth Ward, non-profit organizations, the business community, elected and appointed City officials, and many others. Against the odds, we came together to save the City's master plan and the promise it holds for quality of life and economic development in every corner of the City. For the efforts of all these groups, I offer my deepest gratitude.
           
"Rather than being a reason our communities cannot return, this master plan will be the reason our communities can not only return, but thrive and grow. We cannot expect legitimate developers and residential-friendly businesses to invest in areas like New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward, Lakeview, and Gentilly until they can see that the City is committed to those areas. This is exactly why we need a master plan with the force of law. It will show that the City finally has a clear strategy for development.

"I urge you to view a copy of the working draft of the master plan online at http://www.nolamasterplan.org/. Please read the sections that apply to your neighborhood and give your feedback online. You can also sign up for email alerts of upcoming planning meetings in your district. If you have complaints, please contact my office, and we will put you in touch with the Planning Commission and the Goody Clancy consultants responsible for drafting this plan."

To view complete Statement click here.

To read a previous Statement on Senate Bill 75 click here.


Councilmember Carter Speaks to Local Teens at
"Judge and Teen Day" Event at Orleans Parish Juvenile Court

(June 25, 2009)

District "C" Councilmember James Carter was recently chosen as the motivational speaker for the "Judge and Teen Day" event, held at Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. Councilmember Carter spoke to local youth about the court, the court process and judges; health issues; and educational and employment opportunities.
 
The "Kids and Judge Day" program has been held annually since 2005 for foster children and families residing in the metropolitan New Orleans area. The program aims to dispel fears about the court, the court process and judges. This year's event was geared toward teenagers to provide them with valuable information as they begin to set long-term goals for themselves.
 
Criminal Justice Committee Chair Councilmember Carter said, "I was honored to speak at this important community event. This was a great opportunity to provide the City's youth with useful information as they prepare to enter a new stage in their lives and become young adults."


Council Files Civil District Court Motion in Emails Case and
Reaches Out to Citizens Re: Email Communications with the Council

(June 23, 2009)

The City Council's Legal Counsel Steven Lane filed a motion in Orleans Civil District Court asking that public records requestors specify the types of email documents requested; that citizens' private information be protected; and that the records requestors, not the public, pay the fees and costs associated with the review of 2.5 million pages of emails. The motion addresses public records requests made by a variety of media outlets and one private citizen.
 
The motion references the delivery to the City Council from the City Attorney of approximately 440,000 emails, comprising over 2 million pages; the vague, overbroad and burdensome requests; and the time-consuming and costly review of documents by Legal Counsel, Forensic Software Analysts and Councilmembers.  
 
To view the full text of the motion filed in Orleans Civil District Court click here.
 
Additionally, the City Council reached out to remind citizens that some email communications with Councilmembers could be classified as public records and might be subject to release to the public at large by media outlets. The Council stated that they do not want to discourage citizen electronic communication with Councilmembers - but only want the public to be aware that communications on these issues might not be protected.
 
To view complete News Release on the Civil District Court Motion click here.

To view complete News Release on the Council reaching out to citizens click here.

To view Council Email Communication Information and Resources click here.

City Council June 18, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
(June 18, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council addressed an Ordinance and a Motion regarding funding allocations for NOPD summer overtime; and passed Resolutions urging the Legislature to pass bills dedicated to improving Louisiana's ports, and opposing House Bill No. 517.
 
Additionally, the Council adopted a Motion requesting information regarding the acquisition of the Chevron Building; passed Ordinances strengthening opportunities for small businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, and expanding the scope of purposes for TIF funding; and addressed a Zoning Docket establishing the "Gert Town Mixed Use Interim Zoning District."

The Council also addressed a presentation on New Orleans public schools and held an Executive Session to address pending litigation.

Requested Details on Acquisition of Chevron Building

The Council passed Motion M-09-290, authored by Councilmember Clarkson, requesting that the Administration answer questions regarding the acquisition of the Chevron Building, located at 935 Gravier Street, before action is taken by the Council on the purchase of the property, intended by the Administration to be developed as a new City Hall.
 
The information requested from the Administration includes:

-       Details on the funding gap between the FEMA money for current City Hall renovations and the cost of the Chevron Building
-       Costs to retrofit/build out the Chevron Building and to move office equipment to the building
-       Length of current office leases, money in rent that will be saved by this consolidation, and plans for current City Hall property
-       The Chevron Building's hurricane rating
-       Timelines for moving date and completion of the gain/loss balance sheet, and number matrix for the project

Addressed Allocation of Funds for NOPD Overtime

The Council deferred action on and referred to the Budget Committee:
 
- Ordinance Calendar No. 27,519 to transfer funds from the Chief Administrative Office to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) for summer overtime
 
- Motion M-09-285, authored by Councilmember Midura, recommending that the Council fund the NOPD's request of one-million dollars for summer overtime at a level of half ($500,000), and reconsider extending the final allotment when the Superintendent of Police has prepared and presented to the Council a full report on how the funds will be used and the additional value that the use of the funds has brought to the City.

The Times Picayune published an Opinion Editorial by Councilmember Midura on this legislation, click here to read the Opinion Editorial.

Supported Small Businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises 
 
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,520, co-authored by Councilmembers Fielkow and Hedge-Morrell, strengthening opportunities for small businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) to participate in city contracts or city funded transactions.
 
Members from the City's business community appeared before the Council to express their support for the Ordinance and to thank the Council for their leadership on this matter.

Specifically the Ordinance:

-       Establishes an overall goal of 50% utilization of locally owned businesses and 35% utilization of socially and economically disadvantaged businesses for all public spending or private projects that utilize public funding and/or incentives
 
-       Provides for the identification of the inventory of local businesses and services available post-Katrina
 
-       Designates the Chief Administrative Officer as responsible for the determination of project goals re: local and disadvantaged business participation and for monitoring and reporting overall goal attainment on a quarterly basis

Supported Louisiana's Ports and International Trade  

The Council passed Resolution R-09-288, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, urging the Legislature to pass three Louisiana House Bills (No. 215, 744 and 779) dedicated to increasing the State's international trade and improving Louisiana's ports.

Louisiana House Bill (HB) No. 779 would assist the Port of New Orleans in achieving a unified, regional approach to governance by adding an extra representative from St. Bernard Parish and two Plaquemines Parish representatives to the independent board that oversees the harbor.
 
Louisiana House Bills Nos. 215 and 744 would stimulate development and activity in South Louisiana's maritime industry by incentivizing investment in local ports by businesses that will develop infrastructure (HB 215) and trade internationally (HB 744).

Expanded Scope of Purposes for TIF Funds Allocations 
 
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,501, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson and Carter, to expand the scope of purposes for which Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money can be allocated.
 
Specifically, the expansion of scope includes the addition of the following purposes:

-       Federal City general needs
-       20% Match for road work
-       Transportation Projects
-       Blight in Algiers
-       State/City Urban Systems Capital Projects associated with Federal City and the 15th Ward
-       Brechtel Park Tennis Courts
-       20% Match for Algiers schools and playground infrastructure improvements

Supported Industrial Down Zoning in Gert Town
 
The Council approved Zoning Docket No. 40/09, requesting the establishment of an Interim Zoning District (IZD) to be named the "Gert Town Mixed Use Interim Zoning District," which will down zone the industrial areas in residential parts of Gert Town to improve the current residents' quality of life by preventing further industrial uses from expanding into their community.
 
The establishment of this IZD comes after Motion M-09-124, passed by the Council in March 2009, which directed the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing to consider the down zoning of Gert Town.

 

Opposed House Bill on Healthcare Provider's Refusal of Service 
 
The Council passed Resolution R-09-284, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, opposing Louisiana House Bill No. 517 and urging all members of the Louisiana State Senate to vote against passage of this legislation.
 
House Bill No. 517 seeks to protect from legal and job repercussions public healthcare providers who refuse to treat patients due to their "medical conscience," potentially depriving many patients of legitimate, legal treatments due to physicians' predisposed standards of good and bad.
 
Addressed Presentation on New Orleans Public Schools
 
Leslie Jacobs, Founder of Educate Now!, appeared before the Council to give a presentation on New Orleans public schools.
 
Jacobs provided Councilmembers with demographic data relative to the racial composition and overall size of New Orleans' public schools today as compared to pre-Hurricane Katrina. She also discussed pass rates and classifications for the LEAP test for both 4th graders and 8th graders, as well as graduation rates for high school seniors.

Jacobs highlighted the improvements indicated by the data presented, including the continuing growth of New Orleans public schools as well as the great strides being made by students, teachers and administrators.
 
Held Executive Session
 
The Council held an Executive Session to address pending litigation. Due to the confidentiality of the issues, they were taken up in Executive Session closed to the public.

Special Counsel informed the City Council as to the current status of the following pending litigation:
 
- Case #09-2279 "D", Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Case #2009-C-0389, 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, Case #09-1067, Louisiana Supreme Court, City Council versus Tracie Washington, Tionne Simon and the Louisiana Justice Institute;
 
- Case #09-4050, Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, City Council versus Penya Moses-Fields.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Willard-Lewis Spearheads Legislation
To Increase Taxicab Rates

(June 18, 2009)

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar Nos. 27,497, 27,498, 27,499 and 27,500, authored by Councilmember Willard-Lewis, providing for rate increases for meter fare, hourly rate, special events fare and airport rates, for taxicabs and Disabled Friendly Taxis (DFTs).
 
Specifically, the Ordinances increase rates for meter fare for taxicabs and DFTs from $2.50 to $3.50 for the first 1/8 mile; increase the taxicab hourly rate from $30.00 to $32.00; increase the rate for special events fare from $4.00 to $5.00 per person or meter; and increase taxicab rates for airports.
 
Representatives of United Cab and other taxicab drivers were present in the Council Chamber to support the passage of the Ordinances.
 
Ground Transportation & Parking Committee Chair Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis said, "We understand the challenges that both our taxicab drivers and our citizens face in today's economic environment. With these modest rate increases, we aim to strike a balance between assisting our drivers and ensuring that taxicabs remain an affordable method of transportation."

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmembers Launch "Lil' Easy" Public Transportation Service
In Lakeview and Gentilly

(June 16, 2009)

Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura and District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell helped launch the "Lil' Easy" public transit service - a small bus service that will operate in the Lakeview and Gentilly communities.

The "Lil' Easy" transit service, managed by Veolia Transportation and the RTA, is designed to meet the needs of communities with lower population density or light transit ridership. "Lil' Easy" service already operates in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Passengers can call the "Lil' Easy" bus an hour in advance to schedule a pick up at a stop two to four blocks from their homes. The service operates across a network of 24 flexible stops in each neighborhood and three main bus stops, which are also transfer points for larger RTA busses.

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

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Midura Announces
Recent Reopening of Oak Street

(June 12, 2009)

District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura announced the recent reopening last month of Oak Street, in conjunction with the completion of the first phase of the Oak Street reconstruction project approximately two and a half months after construction began.
 
The revitalized street section now features: 
- New pedestrian-friendly amenities such as dining al fresco, wider sidewalks, benches, and bike racks
- New underground sewage lines, water lines, drain lines, and high-pressure gas lines
- New asphalt roadway and driveways, featuring unique decorative cobblestone intersections
- Installation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps in sidewalks
 
A long-time favorite among families, Oak Street continues to promise something for everyone and its recent re-opening of the first two blocks symbolize a new chapter for local business. Residents are encouraged to renew their love for the street's charming boutique shops and cafés.

"Small local businesses like our Oak Street shops help define our neighborhoods. Please bring your family and friends to Oak Street and spread the word that they are back and need our support," said Midura. 
 
In total, approximately 0.5 miles of Oak Street from Carrollton Avenue to Leake Avenue will be reconstructed. The project has an estimated construction value of approximately $5.4 million, funded by the City's 2004 General Obligation Bonds and the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.

To view complete News Release click here.

Councilmember Head Leads Business Outreach Tour
Through District "B" Commercial Corridors

(June 8, 2009)


District B Councilmember Stacy Head and her staff visited more than 1,000 businesses during a special business outreach two-day tour through the commercial corridors of District B, including Magazine Street, Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., Tulane Ave., Canal St., and throughout the Central Business District.

Councilmember Head and her staff distributed "Business Resource Guides” developed by the Councilmember and designed to provide businesses with helpful contact information for City departments and elected officials, and information on the appropriate entities to contact to address various business needs and concerns.
 
The District "B" representatives also handed out "Constituent Comment and Request Forms," in order to give business owners the opportunity to submit any concerns, requests and/or comments to the Councilmember and her staff directly.

Councilmember Head said, "This canvassing project is part of my ongoing effort to support the continued economic growth of District "B". Our office finds that often barriers to business or important problems current businesses face can be resolved if the businesses know where to go for solutions. My staff acts as ombudsmen to assist businesses to start, grow and thrive."

To view complete News Release click here.

To view video content of Councilmember Head leading the Business Outreach Tour click here.


Councilmember Hedge-Morrell Expresses Disappointment
With Diversion of FEMA Funds
(June 4, 2009)

District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell expressed her disappointment in Archbishop Alfred Hughes' recent decision to divert $8.3 million earmarked for repairs to Epiphany of Our Lord School to projects in Mandeville and St. Bernard Parish.
 
"The children of District D should benefit from these FEMA funds, which could be used to improve the quality of education in our area," said Councilmember Hedge-Morrell. "When I first became aware of the Archbishop's proposal, I sent a letter to FEMA encouraging them to reinvest those funds in our community, either in a community center at Corpus Christi or at St. Leo the Great Catholic School where Epiphany students now attend. I think it is essential that the parishioners of the four Catholic Churches in the district be involved in the Archdiocese's decision. The parishioners raised millions of dollars to build those churches and schools, and they must be respected regarding the use of the FEMA funds."
 
Councilmember Hedge-Morrell plans to contact FEMA directly and request that Archbishop Hughes meet with parishioners from the four impacted parishes in the near future to discuss possible uses of the FEMA funds.

To view complete News Release click here.

City Council June 4, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
(June 4, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council passed Ordinances approving funding for the Economic Development Public Private Partnership, and a Resolution restoring the designation "American Sector" to a specified area of the Central Business District.
 
Additionally, the Council passed a Resolution commending all those involved in securing the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, and received a presentation from the Super Bowl negotiating team on the successful bid for the Super Bowl and the economic impact it will bring to the City.
 
The Council also addressed a presentation from the local Federal Communications Commission Office on the June 12th Digital TV conversion, a presentation on "Project Restore" and its efforts to assist at-risk youth, and a District "C" update from Councilmember Carter.
 
The Council held an Executive Session to discuss recent developments in pending litigation concerning the review and release of the City Council's email correspondence over a three-year period.

Supports Economic Development Public Private Partnership
 
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar Nos. 27,486 and 27,496, co-authored by Councilmembers Fielkow and Hedge-Morrell, relative to the funding of the Economic Development Public Private Partnership (PPP).
 
Arthur Pulitzer, Co-Founder of Horizon Initiative of New Orleans, and Bob Brown, Executive Director of the Business Council of New Orleans, appeared before the Council to express their support for the Ordinances and to thank all parties involved in making the PPP a reality.
 
Ordinance Calendar No. 27,486 temporarily suspends for a period of 270 days the deadlines for economic development project proposals and/or recommendations, by the Economic Development Advisory Committee and/or the Mayor.
 
Ordinance Calendar No. 27,496 allocates 2008 Economic Development Fund (EDF) millage and previous years' unexpended EDF millage to the following projects in the following amounts:
-  Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund - $758,209
-  Sanitation Cleanup in the Vieux Carre - $2,500,000
-  Public Private Partnership - $2,000,000
 
Held Executive Session 
 
The City Council held an Executive Session to discuss recent developments in pending litigation concerning the review and release of the City Council's email correspondence over a three-year period. Due to the confidentiality of the issues, they were taken up in a duly noticed Executive Session closed to the public.
 
Following the Executive Session, Council President Arnie Fielkow announced that the Council would withdraw a Motion that would have authorized an increase in the maximum compensation allowed to be paid to its Special Counsel, Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar. The Council requested that Special Counsel Steven Lane explore alternate funding sources to ensure that Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar is compensated for fees exceeding the existing contract maximum compensation level, incurred related to the Council's email correspondence review and release.
 
Council President Fielkow also acknowledged that the Council is utilizing its best efforts to produce all public records requested in a timely manner.
 
Restored "American Sector" Designation

The Council passed Resolution R-09-265, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson and Head, restoring the designation "American Sector" in the area bounded by the uptown side of Canal St., Calliope St., the Mississippi River, and S. Claiborne Ave.
 
The term "American Sector" was historically used to describe the area West of the French Quarter and East of the Garden District, and references the unique history of New Orleans, illuminating the City's evolution from the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
 
Dr. Nick Mueller, President and CEO of The National World War II Museum, and Bill Detweiler, Consultant to the National World War II Museum President on Military & Veterans Affairs, appeared before the Council to give some background information on the "American Sector" designation and to offer their support for the Resolution.
 
Commended Efforts to Secure 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans    
 
The Council passed Resolution R-09-246, by Councilmember Clarkson, commending and congratulating all those involved in securing the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, including but not limited to, Governor Bobby Jindal, Tom Benson and Rita Benson LeBlanc, Mayor Nagin, Rod West, Steve Perry, Jay Cicero, Bob Brown and Ron Forman, and their staffs.
 
The following members of the Super Bowl negotiating team appeared before the Council to provide the Council with an update on the successful bid and the economic impact that the Super Bowl will bring to the City:

-    Bob Brown, Executive Director of the Business Council of New Orleans
-    Ron Gardner, Chairman of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation
-    Jay Cicero, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation
-    Mary Beth Romig, Director of Communications and Public Relations for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
 
The Super Bowl team discussed the bid presentation, which involved several informational binders featuring artwork from local children, as well as information on the importance of the City's hospitality workers and their high quality of service that will make this event a success.
 
Addressed Upcoming Digital TV Conversion
 
As its second Order of Business, the Council received a presentation on the June 12 Digital TV (DTV) conversion from representatives from the local Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office.
 
Dedrick Roybiskie and Stephen Rooney, local FCC representatives, presented information relative to which consumers will be affected by the conversion and what steps they need to take to make the conversion, including purchasing a converter box.
 
The representatives also discussed the availability of government coupons for purchasing a converter box and instructed consumers to call 1-888-CALL-FCC for more information on the June 12 Digital TV conversion.

Received Presentation on "Project Restore"

Reverends Tom Watson, Patricia Watson, and Khalil Osiris appeared before the Council to give a presentation on "Project Restore" and its efforts to assist at-risk youth.

"Project Restore" is a program dedicated to working with at-risk youth to keep communities safe, decrease crime, and promote victim awareness. The representatives emphasized the importance of monitoring these at-risk individuals and connecting them to the services that they need - mental health, counseling, education, and employment.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Carter Presents Status Report on
News and Happenings in District "C"
(June 4, 2009)

District "C" Councilmember James Carter gave a report on news and happenings in his District.

The report gave updates on:

- Code enforcement sweeps
- Status of adjudicated properties in the District
- Street repair projects including road resurfacing, reconstruction and streetscape development
- New business openings including Harmony House, the Treme Community Elderly Program
- Ongoing improvements to Brechtel Park

Councilmember Carter said, "Great things are happening in District C. Repairs to major streets on both sides of the river have either been completed or are in the offing. A total of 441 properties have been adjudicated in the last few months and Code Enforcement sweeps are addressing blight in eight neighborhoods. Major developments such as the "Inspire" venture on St. Bernard Avenue, a major hotel project on General DeGaulle, and a mixed housing complex on Esplanade Avenue have been approved by the Council. District C - home to numerous festivals and special events throughout the spring and summer - is an exciting place to be."

To view complete News Release click here.


New Orleans Chosen as Site for
2014 National Association of Counties Annual Conference
(June 2, 2009)

Recently it was announced that New Orleans was chosen as the host city for the 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference. In December 2008 the City Council passed a Resolution authorizing the submission of a proposal for New Orleans to host the conference.
 
The last time New Orleans hosted a NACo Annual Conference, in 2002, NACo reported some of the highest attendance numbers of any of their conferences. It is estimated that anywhere from 3,300 to 3,500 people will attend the conference, representing an estimated economic impact of $4,116,000 for the City.
 
The NACo annual conference typically features guest speakers, educational workshops, and forums on key issues and timely topics such as the economy, housing, employment, energy, infrastructure and economic development, transparency and accountability.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmembers Fielkow, Clarkson, Head and Hedge-Morrell
Attend Congressional Roundtable in New Orleans
To Discuss Recovery
(June 1, 2009)

Councilmembers Arnie Fielkow, Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Stacy Head, and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell attended a field hearing of the U.S. House committee responsible for overseeing FEMA.

U.S. Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao and U.S. Congressman John L. Mica of Florida, both members of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, hosted the recovery roundtable, which was held at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise also attended the roundtable, as well as other state and federal leaders, including representatives from FEMA.

The Councilmembers urged congressional leaders to reform FEMA and the Stafford Act, which outlines how the federal government reacts to disasters.
           
Councilmembers also discussed a host of recovery issues, including:

  1. The forgiveness of Community Disaster Loans
  2. Coastal restoration and protection
  3. Redevelopment of the City's outfall canals
  4. The need to reform the process by which FEMA reimburses municipal governments in the wake of disasters
  5. The gap between FEMA funding and City needs on NORD parks and playgrounds
  6. The State's effort to restore coastal wetlands

Councilmembers vowed to continue to work with local, state, and federal leaders to push for reforms and a quicker pace to recovery.

To view complete News Release click here.

 






 
 
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