May 20, 2010
City Council Chamber
City Council May 20, 2010 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - May 20, 2010 - Today, the New Orleans City Council passed Resolutions approving an energy use monitoring pilot program, supporting the immediate sharing of offshore oil and gas lease revenues among Gulf states, and encouraging support of small businesses affected by the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes.
The Council also passed a Motion confirming the award of five four-year Mayoral Tulane Scholarships and recognized John Bullard for his many years of service as Director and CEO of the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Additionally, the Council honored the local Vietnamese American community and received a presentation by City Attorney Nanette Jolivette-Brown.
Approved Real-Time Energy Use Monitoring Pilot Program
The Council passed Resolution R-10-234, introduced by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, approving the implementation, with specified requirements, of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Pilot.
The DOE AMI Pilot is a real-time energy use monitoring program to study the effectiveness of real-time monitoring in reducing energy consumption. Through participation in the proposed pilot, customers would be able to utilize in-home display devices and/or an energy information website to view their energy usage information. Access to this information would enable participants to make economic decisions about energy consumption.
The proposed pilot would include the installation of approximately 11,500 AMI meters, 8,250 in-home display devices, and 400 smart thermostats at the homes of Entergy New Orleans' low income, residential, electric customers during 2010 and 2011.
Utility Committee Chair District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "This program will help residents take control of their Entergy bills by keeping an eye on usage throughout the month. With this pilot program we are reaching out to the low-income ratepayers first, with an eye towards eventually expanding the program to anyone that wants to reduce their energy consumption."
Encouraged Support of Small Businesses Affected by 2005 and 2008 Hurricanes
The Council passed Resolution R-10-235, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, calling on Congress, as part of H.R. 4899, the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental, to include interest relief for businesses with Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans from the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes.
As of May 13, 2010 there were 3,217 outstanding SBA Disaster Business Loans in Orleans Parish from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005 and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike of 2008 for a total of $336,981,744. The United States Congress is currently considering H.R. 4899, the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental, which contains funding for the FEMA Disaster Recovery Fund and funding to cover recent disasters, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Councilmember-at-Large Arnie Fielkow said, "The recent economic downturn had made it increasingly difficult for our small businesses to recover from the back-to-back disasters they have experienced in recent years. The recent oil spill is yet another threat to the economic vitality of these small businesses - we are committed to assisting these businesses in any way that we can."
Honored Local Vietnamese American Community
Members of the local Vietnamese American community appeared before the Council today to give the Presentation of Colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem of America and Vietnam. In addition, the representatives gave a presentation, including a video, on the history of the Vietnamese community.
Councilmembers and the representatives discussed the current oil spill crisis and its potential effects on New Orleans, and specifically on Algiers.
District "E" Councilmember Jon D. Johnson said, "We recognize that this community was one of the first communities to return and rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. I want to join my colleagues in offering my support to the Vietnamese American community and commend their leadership for the work that they have done and will continue to do in our community."
Honored NOMA Director for Years of Service
Councilmember Clarkson led the Council in honoring John Bullard on his 37 years as Director and CEO of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), and congratulating Susan Taylor on her new position as Director of NOMA. John Bullard appeared before the Council and thanked the Council for its support over the years. Susan Taylor was unable to appear before the Council due to a prior obligation.
During Mr. Bullard's tenure he oversaw the addition of modern three-story wings to the museum's old Beaux-Arts structure, spearheaded the addition of the popular Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, and helped to expand the museum's annual budget from approximately $416 thousand to approximately $7 million.
On September 1, 2010, Bullard will become Director Emeritus, and Susan Taylor, former director of the Princeton University Art Museum, will replace him in the executive position.
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "I consider it a privilege and a pleasure to have served on NOMA's Board of Directors and to have worked with John on many occasions. John is an extraordinary director who pushed to make NOMA a nationally recognized museum, and the Council would like to extend our many thanks for his service to the arts community."
Received Presentation by the City Attorney
City Attorney Nanette Jolivette-Brown appeared before the Council to introduce herself to Councilmembers and discuss the function of the City's law department in working with the City Council.
Jolivette-Brown highlighted her desire to utilize her mediation skills to build consensus, solve problems and collaborate on the many issues of great importance to the City of New Orleans. She also emphasized to Councilmembers that the City's law department is a resource to support the Council when necessary.
Confirmed the Award of Tulane University Mayoral Scholarships
The Council Passed Motion M-10-230 confirming the award of five four-year Tulane University Mayoral Scholarships to the following scholars:
- Mary Silva of Council District "A", Cabrini High School
- Abbie Levenson of Council District "B", Louise S.
- Rebecca Tamayo of Council District "C", Edna Karr
- Theresa Cao of Council District "D", Benjamin Franklin
- Arielle Johnson of Council District "E", Xavier University
Tulane University Mayoral Scholarships are full-tuition scholarships awarded to five incoming freshmen students based on academic merit and nomination by the Mayor of New Orleans. Scholarship recipients must be graduates of a New Orleans high school and residents of Orleans Parish.
Supported Immediate Sharing of Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Revenues among Gulf States
The Council passed Resolution R-10-237, authored by Councilmember Fielkow, supporting the efforts of Senator Mary Landrieu to immediately share 37.5% of the revenues derived from all offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico among the Gulf states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida.
In 2006 Senator Landrieu and former Senator Pete Domenici passed the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act in the U.S. Congress, which established a dedicated revenue stream for the purposes of coastal and wetlands restoration, hurricane protection and flood control projects. The law did not authorize revenue sharing from the new leases directly off Louisiana's coast until 2017.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the recent BP oil spill have all greatly contributed to the continuing coastal erosion affecting Louisiana's wetlands. We must engage in clean-up efforts, while simultaneously making progress against the long-term threat of coastal erosion and land loss - the immediate sharing of these funds will assist the State in moving forward in these coastal protection efforts."