October 07, 2010
City Council Chamber
City Council October 7, 2010 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - October 7, 2010 - Today, at the request of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the New Orleans City Council held a Special Council Meeting at 9:45 a.m., in advance of its regularly scheduled meeting at 10 a.m., to approve the appointments of the Mayor, Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce, to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission.
During its Regular Meeting, the Council passed an Ordinance supporting the first phase of Reinventing the Crescent: Crescent Park, and a Resolution honoring a local New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Crisis Unit Officer for her service to the City.
The Council also received a presentation on the future potential uses and development opportunities for the NASA facility at Michoud, and passed a Motion establishing a 3 p.m. start time for the November 4th Regular Council Meeting, as part of a pilot program designed to increase community engagement by scheduling occasional Council meetings in the afternoon.
Supported Phase One of Reinventing the Crescent Riverfront Development
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,109, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, authorizing the Mayor to enter into an Act of Transfer, Cash Sale, Consent and Servitude Agreement between the City of New Orleans and the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans pertaining to the $30 million first phase of the Reinventing the Crescent: Crescent Park. The Ordinance makes available portions of the riverfront available for public, non-maritime use and transfers certain property for the construction of the riverfront park.
A collaborative effort, led by legendary architects George Hargreaves, Michael Maltzan, David Adjaye, and Allen Eskew, the Crescent Park spans from Elysian Fields Avenue in the Marigny to Poland Avenue in the Bywater. The planned 1.4 miles of public open space includes 20 acres of indigenous landscaping, bike paths, playgrounds, a dog run, and two multi-use pavilions - the Mandeville Shed and the Piety Wharf.
District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, "The Crescent Park is the culmination of years of community input. Today, the ordinance allowing the project to move forward passed with a unanimous vote of the City Council. This property, bounded by Jackson and Poland Avenues, will finally be developed into an area where families and friends can gather and enjoy the riverbank. This project, in conjunction with the Lafitte Greenway, is vital in linking all of our neighborhoods. For far too long, our downtown neighborhoods have not had access to green space. This network of parks will increase the quality of life for all of our citizens."
Evaluated Future Opportunities for NASA Michoud Facility
At the request of Councilmember Clarkson, Stephen C. Doering, Associate Program Manager for NASA's Constellation Program; Michael Dawson, Vice President and General Manager of Jacobs (facility contractor for NASA's Michoud facility); Malcolm Wood, Deputy and Chief Operating Officer of NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility; and John Filostrat, Public Affairs Officer for Jacobs appeared before the Council to discuss potential uses and development opportunities for NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility.
Doering discussed potential uses for the facility, including opening up excess space for use by private businesses. In addition to several NASA projects, the facility hosts offices for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Boeing and its newest tenant, wind turbine manufacturer Blade Dynamics. Currently, half of the 43 acre main facility is available for marketing to tenants.
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "For more than 30 years the Michoud Facility has been an integral part of our economy and has provided jobs for many of our residents. We want to do everything we can to ensure that businesses keep thriving at this facility."
Honored Local NOPD Crisis Unit Officer
The Council passed Resolution R-10-438, co-authored by Councilmembers Johnson, Fielkow and Guidry, honoring Officer Cecile Tebo for her outstanding service and dedication to the City and its residents.
As Crisis Unit Administrator for the New Orleans Police Department, Tebo works daily with mentally ill citizens throughout the City and is a strong advocate for mental health care and awareness.
District "E" Councilmember Jon D. Johnson said, "When Hurricane Katrina struck, the need for the kind of work done by Officer Tebo and the Crisis Unit became greater than ever before and the available resources became more limited than ever before. Despite the hardships and difficulties, Officer Tebo has remained vigilant and determined to help those in need - we are truly grateful for her tireless efforts to help our citizens."
Approved Appointments to Public Belt Railroad Commission
In advance of the Council's regularly scheduled meeting at 10 a.m., the Council convened at 9:45 a.m. for a Special Meeting, called by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in accordance with his authority under the Home Rule Charter.
During the Special Meeting, the Council passed Motions M-10-409, M-10-410, M-10-411, M-10-412, M-10-413, M-10-414, M-10-415, M-10-416 and M-10-417, authored by Councilmember Guidry, ratifying, confirming and approving the appointments of the Mayor, Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce, of the following individuals as members of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission:
- Father Kevin Wildes - appointed by Mayor Landrieu
- Scott Cowen - appointed by Mayor Landrieu
- Marvalene Hughes - appointed by Mayor Landrieu
- Ruthie Frierson - appointed by Mayor Landrieu
- Madlyn Bagneris - appointed by Mayor Landrieu
- Lynes R. Sloss - appointed by the New Orleans Board of Trade
- Hunter Pierson - appointed by the New Orleans Board of Trade
- Edgar Chase, III - appointed by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
- Sidney Barthelemy - appointed by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
Prior to the Special Meeting, the Council's Governmental Affairs Committee met at 9 a.m. to receive these appointments to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission.
Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Councilmember Susan G. Guidry said, "As a Council, we want to emphasize the importance of ensuring diversity, industry expertise and accountability among the membership of this Commission. We recognize that these appointed individuals will serve a transitional function on the Commission and we look forward to working with the Commission as it oversees the transparent and responsible restructuring of the Public Belt Railroad."