January 21, 2010
City Council Chamber
City Council January 21, 2010 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - January 21, 2010 - Today, the New Orleans City Council passed Ordinances to ensure the proper collection of rabies vaccination tag fees, and a Motion receiving and accepting the governing policies of the Office of Inspector General.
The Council also adopted Resolutions supporting relief efforts in Haiti, and honoring the late Charles Fontelieu, a member of the New Orleans theatre community.
Additionally, the Council recognized the new Executive Director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, honored the recently retired Deputy Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art, and addressed a report from the local winners of a community development competition.
Received Governing Policies of Office of Inspector General
The Council passed Motion M-10-39, authored by Councilmember Midura, receiving and accepting the governing policies of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in accordance with the Code of the City of New Orleans.
The OIG provided these policies to the Council on December 30, 2009.
Honored the Late Charles Fontelieu
The Council passed Resolution R-10-52, authored by Councilmember Clarkson, mourning the loss of Charles Fontelieu, an iconic New Orleanian who loved the theatre, and therefore without hesitation, giving him a standing ovation.
Fontelieu served as the Executive Director of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre from 1961 to 1985, and he was best known as a director who worked for many local theatre organizations. When he retired in 2006, he had directed 340 plays, and among his honors were life time achievements awards from the Arts Council of New Orleans, the Southwest Theatre Association and the Big Easy Entertainment Awards.
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "Charles had a true love of the theatre and he dedicated his life to pursuing all things theatre-related. He will be truly missed and always remembered for his many great contributions to the New Orleans theatre community."
Ensured Collection of Rabies Vaccination Tag Fees
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,815, co-authored by Councilmembers Midura and Hedge-Morrell, to create a new fund to be designated as the Rabies Vaccination Tag Fee Fund for the receipt and accounting of the proceeds of the rabies vaccination tag fees that have been dedicated to the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA).
The Council also passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,814, authored by Councilmember Midura, to direct fees collected for municipal license tags for cats and dogs to the Rabies Vaccination Tag Fee fund.
District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura said, "Veterinarians in our City are already collecting these rabies vaccination fees, and it was determined during the budget process that there was no system in place to ensure the proper collection of these fees by the City. With this Ordinance, we are implementing a process by which these fees will be collected and allocated appropriately."
District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "We have just come through a tough budget process, and it is our fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the City is collecting and receiving any and all fees it is owed. Through the creation of this fund, we are streamlining the process by which the rabies vaccination fees are collected and directed to the LA/SPCA for use."
Supported Relief Efforts in Haiti
The Council passed Resolution R-10-56, co-authored by Councilmembers Hedge-Morrell and Willard-Lewis, acknowledging the devastation and suffering of the people of Haiti, and urging this City's Administration, the Louisiana Delegation and the Federal Government to do everything in their power to facilitate relief efforts on a continuous basis.
District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "Port-au-Prince is our sister city, we are connected to the people of Haiti by our shared tragedies of natural disasters, and by the roots of many of our families' lineage. After Hurricane Katrina, the people of Haiti came to our aid and now it is our turn to do whatever we can to help them in their time of need."
District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis said, "We urge the citizens of our City, of our state, and of our country to keep the people of Haiti foremost in their thoughts, and to do whatever they can to help, as aid is needed now, and will be needed on a continuing basis for a long time to come."
Recognized New Executive Director of NORA
Chairman of the Board for New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) and former Councilmember Jim Singleton appeared before the Council to introduce the new Executive Director of NORA, Joyce Wilkerson.
Wilkerson expressed the desire to meet with Councilmembers individually to discuss goals and priorities for NORA, and conveyed her dedication to working closely with the Council to assist in the City's recovery.
Councilmembers emphasized some of their priorities and concerns, including the usage of funds, the importance of fighting blight, promoting the redevelopment of commercial corridors throughout the City, and full and equitable implementation of the Lot Next Door program.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "We look forward to working closely with Ms. Wilkerson and all NORA representatives to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our citizens and assisting them in the recovery and rebuilding of their neighborhoods."
Addressed Report on Community Development Competition
University of New Orleans (UNO) planning students and advisors appeared before the Council to give a presentation on the JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition, and the winning team's project.
The winning team's plan to transform an abandoned building at 5523 St. Claude Ave. in the Lower Ninth Ward into a grocery store, won the team's nonprofit partner, the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, a $25,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase Bank NA. The UNO students present were members of the competition's winning team, also comprised of students from Louisiana State University and DePaul University.
The competition presents an opportunity for a student team to partner with a nonprofit organization to develop a real estate project that is sustainable and helps to strengthen the local community.
District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis said, "The Lower Ninth Ward community does not currently have a grocery store that is nearby and convenient, these residents must drive several miles to shop. This community was one of the most devastated by Katrina and we commend the efforts of these students to assist in the revitalization of this very important and historic neighborhood."
Honored Recently Retired Deputy Director of NOMA
At the request of Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, Jackie Sullivan, the recently retired Deputy Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), appeared before the Council to be honored and receive a Council Proclamation for her 37 years of service to the City.
Councilmembers recognized Sullivan for all that she has done, guiding NOMA through countless exhibitions, the renovation and expansion of the Museum, the launch of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, and Hurricane Katrina; and thanked her for her many years of commitment to the arts in New Orleans.
District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "During Katrina, Jackie stayed in the City to ensure that the museum and its art were preserved and kept from harm. She is truly an unsung hero, her dedication to this City and the New Orleans Museum of Art is to be commended, and we wish her a very happy retirement."