Regular Meeting

April 22, 2010 

City Council Chamber

City Council April 22, 2010 Regular Meeting Summary

New Orleans, LA - April 22, 2010 - Today, the New Orleans City Council approved an Ordinance authorizing street closures on the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital footprint, a Motion supporting monthly status reports on resident relocation activities relative to the construction of VA hospital and a Motion submitting the Council's recommendations for revision of the Master Plan to the Planning Commission.
The Council also passed Resolutions supporting Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and the continued use of the Michoud facility.
Additionally, the Council addressed presentations evaluating the availability of emergency medical services in New Orleans East, supporting an annual HIV Awareness event, and remembering local entrepreneur Joe Maselli.
In recognition of today's meeting being the final Council Meeting of the current City Council, Councilmembers expressed their gratitude to one another for the years they spent working together and wished each other all the best in their future endeavors.

Authorized Street Closures on VA Hospital Footprint

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,938, introduced by Councilmember Head, to authorize the closure of streets to be utilized as part of the site used in the construction of the Veterans Administration Medical Center and establishing reporting requirements for the City to report to the Council on the use of funds on the VA hospital project.
Brenda Breaux, Chief Deputy City Attorney; Julie Catellier, VA Medical Center Director; and other representatives of the VA hospital project appeared before the Council to present information on drainage plans and analysis and traffic impact study findings.
The street closures will apply to areas of Cleveland Avenue, Palmyra Street, Banks Street, South Miro Street and South Tonti Street, all generally bounded by Canal Street on the northeast side, South Galvez Street on the southeast side, Tulane Avenue on the southwest side and South Rocheblave Street on the northwest side.

District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head said, "It is in the interest of the New Orleans community that we move forward on this new medical center, representing progressive economic development in the City which will create jobs and increase the accessibility of healthcare for our citizens. We also need to assure equitable treatment of those displaced and use environmentally sensitive actions during this time of relocations and demolitions by the City."
After more than an hour of public comment from residents and members of the business community, and in order to address the concerns expressed by many residents, the Council passed Motion M-10-193, which was introduced by Councilmember Midura.The Motion mandates that the City receive monthly reports from the State relative to the status of demolition, acquisition and relocation activities in relation to the VA hospital project, and that during the presentation of these reports, there be opportunity for public comment.
District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura said, "We recognize the importance of this project moving forward, but we want to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly throughout the entire process, including demolition, acquisition and relocation activities. This Motion will provide for that, as well as give residents the opportunity for public comment on these issues."

Submitted Recommendations for Revision of Master Plan

The Council passed Motion M-10-186, introduced by Councilmember Clarkson, sending the Planning Commission recommendations to take under consideration in revising the Master Plan.
The Council's recommendations encompass three categories - General Recommendations, Specific Recommendations by District and Recommendations by the Planning Commission.


Council recommendations include:

  - Creation of a map that will show where differences exist in the

     draft land use plan and current land use

  - Removal of all topics not related to the physical growth of the

     City as dictated by the Charter

  - General clarification and simplification of content and language

     included in the plan, to facilitate public understanding of the

     Master Plan
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "The submission of the Council's recommendations for revising the Master Plan is a significant step forward in the process of approving the plan. After a thorough revision of all aspects of the Master Plan, we are confident that the recommendations we compiled will make the plan stronger, more relevant and easier to understand."

Supported Continued Use of Michoud Facility

The Council passed Resolution R-10-185, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, calling on the Obama administration to ensure that public and private entities, including NASA, continue using the Michoud facility for the manufacture of projects related to space exploration and other complementary growth industries, and hiring local skilled workers in the process.
The NASA manufacturing facility at Michoud in New Orleans East has provided thousands of skilled jobs in the space industry to local citizens primarily employed by Lockheed Martin. NASA's involvement with the facility going forward is uncertain as a result of the termination of the shuttle program.
In preparation for the cessation of the space shuttle program, NASA supplemented Lockheed Martin's activities at the Michoud facility and is working to recruit other businesses to the site.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "This Council is joining Louisiana's congressional delegation in requesting a stronger commitment from the Obama administration that NASA will remain at Michoud. This commitment will stimulate greater interest from private businesses contemplating a move to Michoud, further stimulating economic development in New Orleans East."

Supported Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

The Council passed Resolution R-10-173, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, opposing House Bill 1153, which would restrict the ability of local governments to set-aside public funds for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), and calling on the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs and the New Orleans delegation to the Louisiana Legislature to do the same.
HB 1153 stands in direct conflict with Ordinance No. 23,587 M.C.S., unanimously passed by the Council in June 2009, which set goals of 35% utilization of DBEs and 50% utilization of local businesses on public projects.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "At a time when many local businesses are working to recover from physical and fiscal losses from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav, it's imperative that federal, state and local governments act in support of both local and disadvantaged businesses that are vital to growing the economy and providing employment opportunities for our citizens. This House Bill is at odds with the Council's efforts to support local businesses and DBEs, and for that reason we must oppose it."

Addressed Presentation on Emergency Medical Services

At the request of Councilmember Willard-Lewis, Dr. Jullette Saussy, Director of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (EMS), appeared before the Council to respond to the Monday, March 22, 2010 shutdown of I-10 and the availability of emergency medical services to and from New Orleans East.
On Monday March 22nd, an 18-wheeler tanker truck carrying liquid petroleum overturned on I-10 by the Chef Menteur exit, causing the Interstate to shut down for several hours. The accident alarmed community members who became concerned about the availability of EMS to and from New Orleans East and the response time of EMS when I-10, which is often used to access New Orleans East, is inaccessible.
Dr. Saussy reassured the Council that all emergencies requiring EMS in New Orleans East were handled in an efficient manner while I-10 was shut down. Dispatched emergency medical vehicles used alternate access points to enter the neighborhood and serviced the area while debris from the accident was being cleared from I-10.
District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis said, "It is extremely important that there are adequate emergency medical services for all New Orleans communities. As a Council, we must support EMS and provide the agency with the necessary resources so it can continue to serve our City as efficiently as possible."

Received Presentation on HIV Awareness Event

At the request of Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, St. John #5 Faith Church Pastor Bruce Davenport, First Lady Deborah Davenport, and their daughter Tamachia Davenport, appeared before the Council to promote the 2nd Annual HIV Awareness Extravaganza to be held on Saturday, May 15th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2700 Florida Avenue in New Orleans. (Click here for map)


The outdoor event will consist of a police-escorted HIV awareness ride called "Ride for Life," a health fair and a custom car and bike show. The purpose of the event is to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, as well as provide community members with access to free HIV testing and other health care services.
The 2nd Annual HIV Awareness Extravaganza is a part of the church's nonprofit, faith-based organization Camp ACE (Alert Community Empowerment), dedicated to providing quality educational, social, health and cultural services to economically disadvantaged children, youth, adults and families in the metropolitan New Orleans community.


District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "I want to personally thank and applaud the Davenport family for taking up this mantle. HIV is often a taboo subject that is best addressed by educating the public and providing accessible testing and information. This program works to do both of those things for the New Orleans community."

Honored Local Business Owner and Civic Activist

At the request of Councilmember Fielkow, Joe Maselli's wife Antoinette Cammarata Maselli, son Frank Maselli, childhood friend Chris Doyle, and Bob Ramelli of the Piazza d'Italia Development Corporation, appeared before the Council to receive a Proclamation honoring the life of Joe Maselli, a local businessman and civic activist who cared deeply for Italian American culture and the New Orleans community.
As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the American Italian Renaissance Foundation, Maselli developed the Piazza d'Italia and the American Italian Museum, both located in New Orleans. Maselli also served as an Ethnic Affairs Advisor to Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush through his affiliation with the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Locally, Maselli served on several boards including the New Orleans Aviation Board and the Louisiana Board of Ethics. Over the course of his life, he earned much recognition including the title Grand Ufficiale, the highest commendation from the Italian government, for his dedication to preserving Italian culture and heritage.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "Joe Maselli lived an ambitious and purposeful life. His many contributions to the City will help to carry on his legacy for many decades to come. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends."

Created on: 6/21/2018 12:18:13 PM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 12:18:13 PM


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