New Orleans City Council
   
 
In this issue

Council Defeats Ordinances Relative to Acquisition of the Chevron Building as the
Site for a New City Hall

Councilmember Hedge-Morrell Participates in District "D" Community Events

Civil District Court Rules on Motion in Council Emails Case, Council Has Fulfilled its Public Records Request Obligations

Councilmember Head Hosts Neighborhood Clean-Up Sweeps And Community Outreach Event

City Council July 23, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary

Councilmember-at-Large Clarkson Joins Local, State and National Leaders to Announce Legislation Authorizing Corps of Engineers
To Pursue Effective Outfall Canal Protection for New Orleans


Councilmember Willard-Lewis Provides Information on Upcoming Events and Important Litigation to District "E" Constituents

Councilmember Midura Statement Re: 2010 City Council Election

Council Receives Update on Repairs at Cut Off Playground and Community Center in Algiers

City Council July 2, 2009
Regular Meeting Summary

Council President Fielkow Statement: Calls Gov. Jindal's Veto on Funding for New Orleans Adolescent Hospital Irresponsible; Sponsors Forum for Legislative Override

 

 
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NOLA Council News
July 31, 2009   Vol.2, No.9

Council Defeats Ordinances Relative to
Acquisition of the Chevron Building as the Site for a New City Hall

(July 28, 2009)

In a Special Council meeting, the City Council defeated Ordinance Calendar Nos. 27,552 and 27,563, relative to the acquisition of the Chevron Building, located at 935 Gravier Street, as the site for a new City Hall.

If passed, Ordinance Calendar No. 27,552 would have transferred funds to the Department of Property Management for the purchase of the Chevron Building, and Ordinance Calendar No. 27,563 would have provided for the acquisition of the building.

These Ordinances were considered at the Special Council Meeting as a result of their deferral at last week's regular Council meeting.

Voting in support of the Ordinances were District "C" Councilmember James Carter, District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, and District "E" Councilmember Willard-Lewis. Voting in opposition to the Ordinances were Councilmember-at-Large Arnie Fielkow, Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura and District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head.

The vote was taken after the Council heard comments from the public and received additional comments from Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Cynthia Sylvain-Lear on the Administration's position regarding the need for a new City Hall.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Hedge-Morrell Participates in
District "D" Community Events

(July 27, 2009)

Cuts Ribbon at Reopening of Lakefront Aquatic Center at University of New Orleans

District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell celebrated the reopening of the Lakefront Aquatic Center at the University of New Orleans (UNO) by participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony over the pool on Monday, July 27th.

The facility, which had been closed to the public since Hurricane Katrina, will once again be home to the UNO swim team, and will be open for use by many high school programs and the community for lap swimming and lessons. New amenities at the pool include an updated sound system, automatic chemical treatment system and a new video scoreboard.

Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said of the opening, "I am so proud to have this facility in my District. UNO is a great partner to this community. This pool will serve them well, and will be a nice asset for the community to enjoy."

To view complete News Release click here.

Dedicates Basketball Court in 7th Ward with Hornets Point Guard Chris Paul

District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul officially opened a new outdoor basketball court at Hardin Park in the 7th Ward on Sunday, July 26th.

This is the second of three courts Paul is revitalizing in the community. The new court is painted with the black and gold logo of Wake Forest University, where Paul played for two years before entering the NBA draft. Paul dedicated the new court to his college basketball coach, Skip Prosser, who died exactly two years earlier.

Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "This is a wonderful addition for this community. St. Augustine High School uses this park for their athletics and P.E., and it's great for them to have use of such a nice facility." Councilmember Hedge-Morrell has also secured funding to renovate the park's playground.

To view complete News Release click here.

Celebrates Canseco’s Grand Opening

On Wednesday, July 1st, Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell celebrated the Grand Opening of Canseco's Elysian Fields Market, located at 5217 Elysian Fields Ave. in Gentilly. Gentilly area residents now have a new place to buy groceries. The celebration was free and open to the public, and began with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a barbecue with raffles and giveaways.

Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said "It's great for our residents to have another local option for groceries and other necessities. This is a wonderful sign of the recovery and revitalization of Gentilly, and New Orleans."


Civil District Court Rules on Motion in Council Emails Case,
Council Has Fulfilled its Public Records Request Obligations

(July 24, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council has fulfilled its obligation to produce its emails in response to various public records requests. Additionally, the privacy rights of citizens will remain protected and there will be no public funds expended to pay for the public records requests at issue. That is the end result of a Civil District Court Judge's ruling.

The ruling resulted from a decision by the Times Picayune and other media outlets to withdraw their pending public records requests. Judge Madeleine Landrieu also ruled that radio station WBOK had waived its right to demand the City Council emails because no one from WBOK appeared in court to respond to the City Council's motion.

The City Council's Special Counsel previously filed a motion with the court, addressing public records requests made by a variety of media outlets and one private citizen, and referencing the delivery to the Council from the City Attorney of approximately 440,000 emails.

The Motion asked that the public records requestors specify the types of email documents requested; that citizens' private information be protected; and that records requestors, not the public, pay the fees and costs associated with the review of 2.5 million pages of emails by Legal Counsel, Forensic Software Analysts and Councilmembers.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Head Hosts Neighborhood Clean-Up Sweeps
And Community Outreach Event

(July 24, 2009)

Leads Community Clean-Ups in Mid-City and Gert Town

District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head, in conjunction with 80 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) volunteers, conducted three community clean-ups in the Gert Town and Mid-City neighborhoods.

The community events are part of Councilmember Head's commitment to the many diverse and unique neighborhoods in District “B” and her dedication to help revitalize the many historic sections of District "B."

The ELCA volunteers were a part of the ELCA's 2009 Youth Gathering in New Orleans July 22nd – July 26th; for more information on the ELCA 2009 Youth Gathering click here.

Councilmember Head said, "The future of our city is being decided by the day to day efforts we choose to perform. Through neighborhood clean-ups, community meetings, and the help of volunteers, we will continue to rebuild. We are thankful for the ELCA volunteers who have dedicated their time to helping New Orleans and the City's many communities."

Hosted Gert Town Neighborhood Ice Cream Social

District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head hosted a free summer ice cream social at Norwood Thompson Park on Saturday, July 11th for Gert Town residents, demonstrating her commitment to empowering communities.

Councilmember Head continues her consistent efforts to move the Gert Town community toward full recovery. Among the neighborhood's critical issues addressed by the Councilmember are, promoting zoning modifications from heavy and light industrial to commercial and residential; ensuring health and safety code compliance; and establishing a Gert Town Community Center.

She has also led community beautification efforts, including community clean-ups and tree planting initiatives, while advocating street repairs by the Department of Public Works and FEMA, and drainage repairs by the Sewerage and Water Board.

Councilmember Head said, "Obstacles exist that cannot be solved alone. We must come together to revitalize and make whole again the Gert Town neighborhood. To do this effectively, we must know one another and this community outreach is just a small step - we must continually reach out to one another."

To view complete News Release click here.


City Council July 23, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
(July 23, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council passed Ordinances ensuring proper collection of property liens and establishing spacing restrictions for the sale of tobacco products near children, and Resolutions honoring Edwin Hampton, band Director and Founder of the St. Augustine Marching 100, and supporting New Orleans Adolescent Hospital.

The Council also passed a Resolution and addressed a presentation congratulating Tulane University on the forthcoming opening of its new Disaster Management Leadership Academy.

Additionally, the Council deferred the Ordinance providing for the acquisition of the Chevron building as a potential new site for City Hall, and the hearing of the Lake Carmel subdivision appeal.

The Council also addressed a presentation on prohibiting floating vessels in canals in advance of a storm, thanked the New Orleans Metropolitan Realtors Association for its assistance to the City on legislative issues throughout the years, and received a status report from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.

Deferred Vote on Acquisition of Chevron Building

The Council, at the request of Budget Chair Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, voted to defer Ordinance Calendar No. 27,563 regarding the acquisition of the Chevron building as a possible site for a new City Hall.

Cynthia Sylvain-Lear, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, gave a presentation to the Council on the Administration’s position regarding the need for a new City Hall, the improvements needed at the current City Hall, and a comparative analysis of the current City Hall and the Chevron building.

Qi Wiggins, a Chevron spokesperson, informed the Council that Chevron was unwilling to extend the July 31st purchase agreement deadline and therefore recommended that the Council defer their vote to the following week rather than the August 6th regular Council meeting.


Addressed Process for Collection of Property Liens

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,571, authored by Councilmember Head, to ensure that collection of property liens and ad valorem taxes occurs as required by law.

District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head said, "This legislation directly links the payment of property liens to the payment of property taxes, therefore preventing property owners from taking advantage of any loopholes which might allow them to pay one without paying the other. We are working to make certain that any and all property liens are paid in a timely and appropriate manner."

Honored Legendary Founder of St. Augustine Marching 100 
 
The Council unanimously passed Resolution R-09-374, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, honoring Edwin Hampton, legendary band Director and Founder of the iconic St. Augustine High School Marching 100. The Resolution also recognizes Hampton for his many contributions to the City throughout his lifetime. Hampton passed away on Monday, July 20th at home in his sleep, at the age of 81.

District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "'Hamp', as he was fondly called, was a mentor to thousands of musicians and young men who passed through the ranks of the Marching 100. He was a disciplinarian but a gentle man who taught teamwork through practice and hard work, first appealing to the integrity of the young men and requiring that they reciprocate with honesty."

Supported New Orleans Adolescent Hospital  

The Council passed Resolution R-09-376, co-authored by Council President Fielkow and Council Vice President Clarkson, requesting that the City Attorney consider filing amicus curiae briefs to support the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (NOAH) in any and all litigation involving the closing of NOAH.

Amicus curiae, Latin for "friend of the court", briefs are filed by an individual who is not a party in the litigation being addressed, but who would like to submit their opinion on the matter for consideration of the court.

Derrick Morrison, Co-Founder of the Committee to Reopen Charity Hospital and Moderator for community forums sponsored by the Council to keep NOAH open, appeared before the Council to show his support for the Resolution.

Governor Bobby Jindal recently used a line-item veto to deny $14.2 million for NOAH, causing the closing of NOAH and leaving no mental health beds for the uninsured in Orleans Parish.

Established Spacing Restrictions for the Sale of Tobacco Products near Children 
 
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,550, authored by Councilmember Head, to establish spacing restrictions relative to the sale of tobacco products near playgrounds, schools, churches, and any entities providing structured, organized care for youth.

Specifically, the Ordinance requires that no tobacco retailer shall be permitted to sell, donate, distribute, or deliver to any person(s) tobacco products within 1,000 feet of any playground, church, public library, school, or any childcare facility or similar entity providing structured, organized care for youth. The Ordinance also mandates that no tobacco retailer shall be permitted to establish or open in any residential district or park and recreation district of the City.


Addressed Lake Carmel Subdivision Appeal

 
The Council did not hear the appeal on the Lake Carmel subdivision, located in District "E", as a result of a stay of 30 days, granted by the Civil District Court.

District "E" Councilmember Willard-Lewis said, "This morning there was a hearing on the Lake Carmel subdivision appeal at the Civil District Court in front of Judge Piper Griffin. The developer, VOB, was requesting that the court issue a mandamus ordering that this matter be removed from the Council's agenda - challenging the right of the Lake Carmel Subdivision Improvement District to file its appeal to the Council."

She continued, "After consideration of the arguments, Judge Griffin ruled in favor of the City and of the homeowners, denied the mandamus and then granted a stay of 30 days to allow the developer to appeal the ruling to the Fourth Circuit. This matter was on deadline before the City Council, but the court's granting of a stay suspends that deadline. The deadline for the Council to act will not begin to run again as long as this stay is in effect."

The Council deferred the hearing of this appeal to the next Council meeting on August 6th.

Received Report on Prohibiting Floating Vessels in Canals in Advance of a Storm 
 
At the request of Council Vice President Clarkson, Captain Edwin Stanton of the U.S. Coast Guard and Port of New Orleans appeared before the Council to give a report on prohibiting floating vessels in the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal and the Harvey Canal in advance of a storm.

Captain Stanton discussed:

-       The plan to mandate that all floating vessels be out of the two canals at least 24 hours before the impact of storm force winds

-       The Army Corps of Engineers' request that the plan be extended to the Algiers Canal

-       The potential economic impact of this prohibition on businesses along these waterways

Congratulated Tulane University on its New Disaster Management Leadership Academy
 
Dr. Charles Figley, Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University School of Social Work, appeared before the Council for a presentation congratulating the university on the formation of its new Disaster Management Leadership Academy (DMLA).

A three-year $2.1 million federal grant will allow Tulane to begin the DMLA, which will grant certifications to high-level government officials and masters and doctoral degrees to students in research programs. Figley provided details on the formation and curriculum of DMLA, as well identified the DMLA staff and others who were integral in the formation of the academy. For more information on the DMLA, visit www.dmlatulane.org.

The Council passed Resolutions R-09-325, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, applauding Tulane University for the forthcoming opening of the DMLA and anticipating a strong group of graduates who will be able to lead the City in the case of a natural or manmade disaster.

Addressed NORA Report on New Headquarters


Representatives from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) appeared before the Council, at the request of Councilmember Clarkson, to give a progress report and to detail the funding for its new headquarters, currently being built on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.

The representatives - Jim Singleton, NORA Board of Directors Vice Chair, Rob Couhig, NORA Board of Directors Secretary, Richard Monteilh, NORA Executive Director, and NORA Director of Real Estate Strategy Ommeed Sathe - provided detailed information on their funding sources and their ongoing efforts to supplement NORA's resources, as well as offered updates on the Lot Next Door program and their involvement with other projects throughout the City.

Austin Penny, Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administration (ORDA), appeared before the Council to give additional information on NORA's funding sources.




Recognized Metropolitan Association of Realtors for their Assistance to the City

Diana LeBlanc, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (NOMAR), along with other NOMAR representatives, was recognized by the Council for their assistance to the City on legislative issues throughout the years.

"I want to thank NOMAR for their tireless efforts lobbying our state and federal government for New Orleans' needs. NOMAR was instrumental in the City's effort to defeat Senate Bill 75, which would have derailed the City's master planning process," said Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson.

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember-at-Large Clarkson Joins
Local, State and National Leaders to Announce Legislation Authorizing Corps of Engineers to Pursue Effective
Outfall Canal Protection f
or New Orleans
(July 20, 2009)

Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson joined local, state, and national leaders in announcing legislation filed in Congress authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to pursue the most effective means of storm protection for New Orleans' three outfall canals.
           
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has consistently argued that of three possible options for redeveloping the London Ave., Orleans Ave., and 17th St. canals, Congress has authorized them to pursue only the cheaper "Option 1," which involves retaining deficient canal walls, relying on existing Sewerage and Water Board pumps to handle falling water, and constructing new pumps at the mouth of each canal to handle rising water.  
 
Senators David Vitter, Mary Landrieu and Barbara Boxer introduced the legislation to put an end to that debate by expressly authorizing the Corps to pursue the more expensive and far safer "Option 2," which would deepen and repave the canals and build new all-purpose pumps, or "Option 2a," which includes these improvements and also allows for pumping excess water from the canals to the Mississippi River.

"This is a great step forward," said Councilmember Clarkson, who has been a strong advocate on this issue both in Washington, D.C. and in New Orleans.  "We simply cannot allow the Corps to move forward on a 'cheaper', less effective plan that will end up putting our region at risk for dramatic costs in life and property."

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Willard-Lewis Provides Information on
Upcoming Events and Important Litigation to
District “E” Constituents

(July 17, 2009)

Announces Community Tour of UNO Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Studies

District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis, along with the nonprofit Foundation for Coastal and Habitat Enhancement Studies, announced a community tour of the University of New Orleans (UNO) Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Science (PIES), held on Saturday, July 18th. The facility, formerly the triplex boathouse, is located in the Lake Catherine neighborhood in District "E.”

The PIES will serve as a research facility for scientists and educators to study the marine life and aspects of the Pontchartrain estuary, all the way from Pass Manchac to the Chandeleur Islands. The facility will also provide classrooms for a program that will bring middle and high school students to the facility to introduce them to wetlands and marine biology.

Provides Information for District "E" Constituents Re: Agriculture Street Landfill Litigation

District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis distributed information on the Agriculture Street Landfill Litigation to her constituents in District "E." To view the information on the litigation click here.

The Agriculture Street Landfill (ASL) is a former landfill, closed in 1966, that has been developed in part for residential use. Site contaminants have been detected in soil, dust, air, and garden produce - the highest levels of contaminants have been detected in the undeveloped area of the site, which has been classified as a public health hazard.

Councilmember Willard-Lewis said, "District E residents have many concerns in relation to this landfill, including - cleanup activities, run-off of contaminants, maintenance of undeveloped property, and poor response from utility companies, as well as health concerns. I want to ensure that they have this important information on the ongoing litigation regarding the Agriculture Street Landfill."

To view complete News Release click here.


Councilmember Midura Statement Re: 2010 City Council Election
(July 15, 2009)

Dear Citizens of District "A" and the City of New Orleans:

It has been a privilege to serve the City of New Orleans as the District "A" Councilmember for the last three years. I have been humbled by this honor, and am forever grateful to all who had confidence in my ability and entrusted me with the opportunity to represent the district. 
 
During my time in office, I have aspired to be a reformer of government systems, watchdog of public funds, and champion of accountability and better government. I am proud of the accomplishments my office has achieved in these areas, the highlight of which was spearheading the creation and funding of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to fight corruption, mismanagement, and government waste. I believe the creation of this office is the single most important step the City has taken toward reform of government and will have historic impact as it grows with charter-protected funding. Please click here to view a list of highlights during my time in office as District "A" Councilmember.

After much thought and reflection, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the District "A" City Council seat in 2010. Having experienced first-hand the challenges of running a long-shot campaign in 2006, I wanted to make this decision publicly as early as possible for the benefit of potential candidates in District "A" so they may have enough time to decide whether to seek election. I believe the City Council will benefit from continued new blood at the dais and look forward to supporting a candidate who will pick up the mantle of reform and continue the march toward good government.   
 
The process of deciding whether or not to run for this seat in 2010 has led me to focus on what I want to get done for the City while I am still serving and in a position to effect change. Constituents should continue to expect honest and candid discussion from me as I will be as or more vocal than ever about our city's continuing challenges, the greatest of which is the daunting budget shortfall we will face in 2010 and how we choose to cut spending to make ends meet.
 
Answering the question, "Is this in the best interest of the City of New Orleans" has been my guiding principle over the last three years, and it will continue to be the basis for every decision I make, position I defend or advocate, and points I raise on any given issue.  Thank you for trusting in me to make sure the answer is always "yes."
  
Sincerely,

Shelley

To view complete Statement click here.


Council Receives Update on Repairs at Cut Off Playground
And Community Center in Algiers

(July 2, 2009)


At the request of Councilmember Carter, Bill Chrisman, Director of Capital Projects, presented the Council with a report on the status of the air conditioning and lights at the Cut Off Playground and Community Center in Algiers.

Currently, Cut Off Playground and Community Center does not have outdoor lighting or a working air conditioning system. An Algiers resident, present at the meeting, also voiced concerns about the unpaved parking lot at the facility.

District "C" Councilmember James Carter said, "The current situation and lack of maintenance at the Cut Off Playground and Community Center is unacceptable. We owe it to the Algiers community and their children to provide a safe and comfortable recreational setting with air conditioning and appropriate lighting. We will do all we can to expedite improvements at this location so that citizens can safely enjoy the facilities once more."

The Council unanimously passed an emergency Motion to direct the Department of Property Management to replace the air conditioning at the Cut Off Community Center under emergency procedures.


Pamela Sims Smith, Director of Property Management for the City, indicated that contractors would go to the location next week to replace the air conditioning. Mr. Chrisman assured Councilmembers that the improvements to the lighting and parking lot would begin within the next 30 days, and he stated that he would return to the Council within that time frame to give an update on the progress of those improvements.

To view complete News Release click here.


City Council July 2, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
(July 2, 2009)

The New Orleans City Council passed legislation supporting 100-year storm protection, funding for crime fighting initiatives, emergency repairs at various NORD facilities, and effective storm surge protection for the City's three outfall canals.
 
Additionally, the Council received a presentation from the Administration on the Chevron Building as a possible site for a new City Hall, and a status report on District "E", congratulated Major Bob Bardy on his Innovation Award and the New Orleans Hornets on a second consecutive playoff season.
 
The Council also held an Executive Session to address pending litigation, and passed Motion M-09-322 rescheduling the Council's regular July 16th meeting to July 23rd.

Received Report from Administration on Chevron Building
 
Brenda Hatfield, Chief Administrative Officer, Cynthia Sylvain-Lear, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, and Bill Chrisman, Director of Capital Projects, appeared before the Council to answer the questions posed in Motion M-09-290, authored by Councilmember Clarkson and passed by the Council last month, regarding financial details of a pending purchase of the Chevron Building, located at 935 Gravier Street, and it possibly being the site of a new City Hall.
 
The Council pledged not to act on the purchase of this property as a site for City Hall until these questions are answered. The Administration's representatives presented the Council with a document containing answers to each question posed in Motion M-09-290, as well as a "Fact Sheet" on the Chevron Place purchase.
 
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "The Chevron Building is a good building at a good price, but is it a good building for City Hall? We need to consider whether the downtown building is an appropriate site for housing what should be a landmark building in any city; and whether the entire deal is a financial gain or loss for the City, including the value of the liquidation of our present site and other city owned properties."

Urged Army Corps to Meet Deadline for 100-year Storm Protection
 
The Council unanimously passed Resolution R-09-326, authored by Council President Arnie Fielkow, urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take steps necessary to ensure that it meets the June 1, 2011 deadline to provide a quality system of protection for a 100-year storm. A 100-year storm is defined as a storm with a 1% chance of striking in any given year.

Councilmember Fielkow said, "Protection from a 100-year storm is a vital part of the City's overall hurricane protection and preparedness. The Corps has committed to provide this level of protection and we want to ensure that they are held accountable to the June 2011 deadline. Pushing the deadline back may result in perpetual delays and a lack of essential hurricane protection - we cannot allow that to happen. I look forward to hearing the Corps' plan to meet the deadline at the August Council meeting."

Voted to Fund Crime Fighting Initiatives
 
The Council unanimously approved Ordinance Calendar Nos. 27,519, 27,526 and 27,527 to allocate funds for summer overtime for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) as well as to fund investigators for the District Attorney's office.
 
The Ordinances were authored and introduced by District "D" Councilmember and Budget Committee Chair Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and co-authored by Councilmembers Fielkow, Head, and Clarkson.
 
Ordinance Calendar No. 27,519 shifted $1 Million from the Chief Administrative Office to the NOPD to fund 12 hour shifts for patrol officers through the summer months.
 

Ordinance Calendar Nos. 27,526 and 27,527 allocate $150,710 from the General Fund to the Office of District Attorney. The money will be used to hire eight investigators who will work on cases that currently lack sufficient evidence for prosecution. The District Attorney hopes to close a number of homicide cases where a suspect has been identified but not charged, thereby reducing the number of violent criminals on the streets.
 
"Public safety is my number one concern. We typically see an increase in crime during the summer months," Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said. "These measures will have an immediate impact on our residents' safety."

Click here to read a News Release on this legislation.

Supported Option 2A for City's Outfall Canals

The Council unanimously passed Resolution R-09-306, introduced by Councilmember Clarkson, thanking U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Mary Landrieu for demanding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pursue Option 2A, the most effective means of storm surge protection for New Orleans' three outfall canals - London Ave., Orleans Ave., and 17th St.

Option 2A includes deepening and repaving the canals, building new all-purpose pumps, and pumping excess water from the canals to the Mississippi River.
 
LaVerne Saulny, Regional Manager of Senator Landrieu's New Orleans Office appeared before the Council to thank the Council for their support on this issue.
 
Click here to read a News Release on this legislation.

Received Update on District "E"
 
District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis presented the Council with a District Report on news and happenings throughout the District.
 
The Councilmember offered updates on:
 
- Funding sources for Methodist Hospital and Mary Queen of Vietnam's efforts to provide health services to New Orleans East residents

- Improvements at Joe Brown Park and Village L'Est Playground, and emergency repairs at Goretti, Sampson and Eastshore Playgrounds
 
- Ongoing renovations at the 7th District Police Station and District "E" Fire Stations and the New Orleans Fire Department/New Orleans Police Department Municipal Training Academy
 
Councilmember Willard-Lewis said, "We salute the spirit and love for New Orleans of all those who have returned to District E and the City as a whole. District E residents dedicate their time and energy every day to move our City's recovery forward - they are a testament to the persistence and dedication of all of our citizens to make this City better than it was before."

Declared Emergency Status for Repairs at NORD Facilities

The Council passed Motion M-09-328, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, declaring the need for plumbing and general construction repairs at various New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) facilities, to be a certified emergency. Therefore, the City may obtain bids without formal, public advertising and may contract the public work needed to abate and correct the emergency.
 
Property Management and NORD have been unsuccessful in obtaining contractors to perform the work in two formal bid attempts through the normal procurement process. Funding has been identified to complete the work and the Chief Administrative Officer has certified this situation as an emergency.
 
The NORD facilities which will receive emergency repairs are:
- Gorretti, Sampson, Conrad, Eastshore, Taylor, Milne, McDonogh, Skelly Rupp, and Kenilworth Playgrounds
- Treme Center
- St. Bernard Locker Rooms
- Perry Roehm Stadium
- Bunny Friend
- Pontchartrain NORD Center

Acknowledged Major Bob Bardy for Innovation Award

The Council congratulated Major Bob Bardy, of the NOPD 6th District, on his Capital One Bank Keller Award for Innovation from the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR).
 
The Capital One Bank Keller Award for Innovation recognizes employees who have used innovative solutions to solve pressing problems. It is named in honor of the Keller Family Foundation, the founder of the BGR Excellence in Government Awards. The Keller Awards include a cash prize of $1,000 each.
 
The Council thanked Major Bardy for his ongoing dedication to serving the City and for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty.

Congratulated Hornets on Second Consecutive Playoff Season

New Orleans Hornets representatives Chad Shinn, Executive Officer of the Board, and Harold Kaufman, Senior Director of Communications, appeared before the Council for a presentation congratulating the team on a second consecutive playoff season.
 
The representatives thanked the Council for their ongoing support of the team and Councilmembers recognized the Hornets for the economic impact and the spirit that the team brings to the City. The Council assured the Hornets representatives that they would continue to support the team in their endeavors and look forward to next season.

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.


Council President Fielkow Statement: Calls Gov. Jindal's
Veto of Funding for New Orleans Adolescent Hospital Irresponsible;
Sponsors Forum for Legislative Override
(July 1, 2009)

"I am truly frustrated with Governor Bobby Jindal's decision to apply a line item veto to $14.2 million in funds dedicated by the Legislature to the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital - one of the last vestiges of mental health facilities in Orleans Parish.

"Governor Jindal must know what this veto will mean for those New Orleans-area citizens in need of hospitalization: the reduction of in-patient beds by another 35 for a total loss of 231 in-patient beds since Hurricane Katrina; that parents, guardians and/or significant others will be forced to commute 40 miles to see and assist in the assessment and treatment of their loved ones; and there will be zero public sector facilities in New Orleans to provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services for children and adolescents.

"I beseech Gov. Jindal and Department of Health and Hospital Secretary Alan Levine to reconsider this critical decision. I heartily thank all legislators who voted against the closure and who voted in favor of additional funding to keep this crucial facility open. Various groups have requested, and I have accepted, to sponsor a forum for advocates to appeal to legislators to override Governor Jindal's veto. The meeting will be held on July 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the City Council Chamber."
 
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