September 02, 2010
City Council Chamber
City Council September 2, 2010 Regular Meeting SummaryNew Orleans, LA - September 2, 2010 - Today, the New Orleans City Council passed Ordinances to establish the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and to add "Pedicab Service" to the City Code provisions for "Vehicles for Hire."
Additionally, the Council passed a Resolution urging the State to implement the U.S. District Court ruling prohibiting the State from issuing any further Road Home grants based on pre-storm property value.
Established Commission to Govern City Recreation
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,124, co-authored by Councilmembers Fielkow and Clarkson, to establish the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, to provide for membership composition and length of terms of members to the Commission, its powers, duties and functions, and its administration.
Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Mike Sherman, and New Orleans Recreation Department Citizens Advisory Panel (NORD CAP) Co-Chairs, Roy Glapion, Bobby Garon and Rod West, appeared before the Council to present background information on the development of NORD CAP and the process leading up to the formation of this commission.
On October 2, 2010, the citizens of Orleans Parish will vote on an amendment to the Home Rule Charter of the City of New Orleans to create a new model for New Orleans recreation programming. This Ordinance provides citizens with information on the composition and structure of the Commission, which will govern city recreation should the Charter amendment pass.
The Ordinance specifies that the Commission will consist of thirteen members, including city officials, industry experts and members of the local grassroots community, and that the Commission is charged to:
- Plan, supervise, and conduct a comprehensive and coordinated program of cultural and physical recreation
- Promote cooperative planning with public and private entities concerned with recreation
- Manage, maintain and operate recreational facilities owned or operated by the City
Council President Arnie Fielkow, who introduced the Ordinance, said, "We recognize that recreation is one of our citizenry's top priorities - we know that our current recreation system is not working and it is time for a change. Should the Charter amendment pass, the formation of this Commission will begin the process to provide equitable, high quality recreational programs to all of our neighborhoods, something that we are all striving for."
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, co-author of the Ordinance, said, "This Council is working, through meetings around the City, to make sure that the community has an opportunity to participate in the reorganization of our recreation system. We appreciate the commitment and dedication of the many NORD coaches and volunteers, and we will work to make certain that they continue to be a part of our City's recreation programs."
Supported Introduction of Pedicab Services to the City
The Council unanimously passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,106, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, to amend the "Vehicles for Hire" chapter of the City Code, to add "Pedicab Service" to the provisions contained within, which will provide regulations and establish rates for pedicab service.
The Ordinance also:
- Requires the Director of the Ground Transportation Bureau (GTB) to make every reasonable effort to ensure that a minimum 35% of the approved pedicab businesses are registered disadvantaged business entrepreneurs in accordance with the City Code
- Specifies a pilot period, not to exceed 24 months, which will facilitate the public adaptation to the presence of pedicabs; the Director of the GTB may call for the conclusion of the pilot period at any time after 12 months
- Indicates that the number of permitted pedicabs during the pilot period shall not exceed 45
District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, "After numerous public hearings and community meetings, and much public feedback, we are excited to be moving forward with this new business development initiative. The pilot period will provide us the opportunity to collect data and analyze the effects of pedicabs on our City. We recognize the importance of supporting our established local businesses, while also being open to the introduction of new industries to be based in New Orleans."
Pushed for Equitable Process in the Issuance of Road Home Grants
The Council passed Resolution R-10-372, co-authored by Councilmembers Fielkow and Johnson, urging the State to immediately take appropriate actions to implement the U.S. District Court ruling, issued earlier this month, which prohibits the State of Louisiana from issuing any further Road Home grants based on pre-storm property value.
Specifically, the ruling stated that the Road Home's use of pre-storm home values to calculate rebuilding grants discriminated against African-Americans.
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "Many of our citizens have experienced difficulties with the administration of the Road Home Program, specifically with the underpayment of property values. It is imperative that the State of Louisiana ensures that the issuance of Road Home grants is equitable and transparent, and fully compensates all homeowners affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."
District "E" Councilmember Jon D. Johnson said, "The State must honor this court ruling. The policies used by Road Home administrators have denied victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita access to grant amounts sufficient to rebuild their homes. Ultimately, this has greatly hindered the repopulation of many New Orleans neighborhoods, in particular the Lower Ninth Ward, Desire/Florida and New Orleans East - we all must continue our work to make each of the City's neighborhoods whole again."