December 07, 2009
City Council Chamber
City Council December 7, 2009 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - December 7, 2009 - Today the New Orleans City Council passed an Ordinance increasing the dedicated millage for fire protection, and a Motion directing that the Request for Proposals be issued to provide services for the implementation of Wi-Fi in the Council Chamber.
The Council also addressed reports on the Army Corps' new floodwall budget, the International High School of New Orleans, and the CeaseFire program.
Additionally, the Council made presentations and passed Resolutions honoring the late Roy Rondeno, Sr. and the late Frank Friedler, Jr., former District “A” Councilmember
Addressed Report on Army Corps' Floodwall Budget
At the request of Council President Fielkow, Colonel Bob Sinkler, Commander of the Hurricane Protection Office for the Army Corps of Engineers, appeared before the Council to give an update on the Army Corps' new floodwall budget.
As a result of the complexity of the issue, the Council felt it appropriate to defer this report to the Council's upcoming Recovery Committee meeting to be held on Wednesday, December 9th at 2 p.m. in the Council Chamber.
Councilmembers highlighted some of the specific issues and questions that they would like addressed at Wednesday's committee meeting, to ensure that Colonel Sinkler is prepared with the appropriate information.
Councilmember-at-Large Arnie Fielkow said, "This is a very important issue and we want to give it the attention that it deserves - we must ensure that we address this item in a setting where it can be discussed in detail. We want to thank the Army Corps for agreeing to discuss this item with us, they have always been very responsive to any requests made by the Council and we look forward to hearing their report on the floodwall budget in its entirety later this week."
Supported Implementation of Wi-Fi in Council Chamber
The Council passed Motion M-09-668 determining that qualified professionals are required for the implementation of a wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) system in the Council Chamber, and directing that the Request for Proposals be issued as soon as possible.
The Council passed Ordinance No. 23,744 M.C.S. on October 1, 2009, authorizing the expenditure of $12,000 from the City's Government Access Capital Fund for the purchase of hardware, software, maintenance and one-year transport cost necessary for the implementation of Wi-Fi in the Council Chamber.
Cable and Telecommunications Committee Chair District "C" Councilmember James Carter said, "We recognize the importance of providing wireless internet in the Council Chamber so that our citizens have access to this service during the time they spend at various Council and Committee meetings. We are now prepared to initiate the competitive selection process to find qualified professionals who may provide the required services."
Addressed Update on CeaseFire Program
At the request of Councilmember Clarkson, Walter C. Flower, III and Reverend Khalil Osiris appeared before the Council to indicate strong community support for bringing the CeaseFire program to New Orleans.
Under the leadership of Criminal Justice Committee Chair Councilmember Carter, the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CPVP) recently partnered with New Orleans to replicate Chicago CeaseFire, a program proven to reduce shootings and deaths due to gun violence. The partnership makes available to New Orleans technical expertise and training, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At today's meeting the City Council reiterated its undivided support for bringing Chicago CeaseFire to New Orleans.
Initial funding for CeaseFire is made possible through a Council appropriation for justice innovation, and the Council is working with the administration to finalize a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with Baptist Community Ministries, which will administer the funds. Cary Grant, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, indicated at today's Council meeting that these funds are available and that a final draft of the CEA is being prepared for signatures.
"Chicago CeaseFire has the potential to dramatically reduce violent gun-related crime in New Orleans," said District "C" Councilmember James Carter. "We are extremely fortunate to be chosen as a collaborative partner with CPVP - the training and technical assistance provided through the partnership will ensure that New Orleans's program is well-planned and effective. An initial investment by the City is imperative in order to attract funding from additional sources and sustain the effort over time."
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "I want to thank Mr. Flower and Mr. Osiris for their ongoing dedication to promoting non-violence in our City. Their focus on empowering the youth of our city through education and employment is truly commendable."
Received Report on International High School
Brooke Muntean, Instructional Coach of the International High School of New Orleans (IHSNOLA) and Kerry Hart, Student Council President, appeared before the Council at the request of Councilmember Fielkow to provide background information on IHSNOLA, and updates on the various immersion programs offered at the school.
IHSNOLA is a college preparatory high school that offers a curriculum in International Business and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The school works to foster a diverse community of learners through rigorous academic programs that promote an understanding of business, multi-cultural awareness, and foreign language fluency. The school offers French and Spanish programs, and is currently working on incorporating a Chinese program as well.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "We are an international city and now we have an international school to provide our children with the opportunity to learn about the global economy, other cultures and foreign languages, while still following a rigorous curriculum of core subjects."
Honored the late Roy Rondeno, Sr.
At the request of Councilmember Clarkson, Shirley Rondeno and Roy Rondeno, Jr. appeared before the Council for a presentation honoring the late Roy Rondeno, Sr., who served as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for nearly four decades.
The Council passed Resolution R-09-678 honoring Roy Rondeno, Sr. for his many years of loyal and steadfast service to the City of New Orleans.
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson informed the Rondeno family that U.S. Congressman Joseph Cao introduced House Bill H. R. 3951 to officially rename the U.S. Post Office at 2000 Louisiana Avenue as the "Roy Rondeno, Sr. Post Office Building."
Clarkson said, "We offer our most heartfelt condolences to the Rondeno family. Roy was a fixture in this community, and he will be remembered for his friendliness, his cheer, and the pride he took in his work."
Increased Dedicated Millage for Fire Protection
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,769 to amend Ordinance Calendar No. 27,766, to increase the millage for fire protection to 5.21 mills, relative to the levy of ad valorem taxes upon the assessed value of all property subject to taxation in the City of New Orleans.
Nick Felton, President of the New Orleans Fire Fighters Association Local 632, appeared before the Council to thank Councilmembers for their continuous and ongoing support of the fire department.
Budget Committee Chair District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "Our fire fighters provide us with an invaluable service and we have the utmost respect for all of them - both active and retired. We continue to work to fulfill our responsibilities to the Fire Department and the increase of this millage will assist us in doing that."