Regular Meeting

October 21, 2010 

City Council Chamber

City Council October 21, 2010 Regular Meeting Summary

New Orleans, LA - October 21, 2010 - Today, the New Orleans City Council passed a Resolution requesting that the City Planning Commission develop a system for neighborhood participation, and Ordinances supporting the renovation of the Saenger Theatre.

The Council also received a presentation on the status of the University of New Orleans, passed a Resolution supporting funding for public higher education and honored the memory of local attorney, philanthropist and activist Moise Steeg.

Encouraged Establishment of Neighborhood Participation System

The Council passed Resolution R-10-439, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson, Hedge-Morrell and Gisleson Palmer, requesting that the City Planning Commission (CPC) prepare and recommend an ordinance, informed by public input, that establishes a system for neighborhood participation.

The City's Home Rule Charter provides that the "City shall establish by ordinance a system for organized and effective neighborhood participation in land use decisions and other issues that affect quality of life."

Specifically, the Resolution requests that the CPC establish procedures for soliciting additional public input and, after due consideration, recommend to the Council a system for neighborhood participation that includes all beneficial suggestions and criticisms.

Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "The input of residents and neighborhood associations is vital in the development of this neighborhood participation system. It is for their benefit that we move forward in this process to institute an equitable and transparent system for our citizens to participate in land use decisions."

Authorized Donation and Lease of Saenger Theatre

The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,047, co-authored by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer and Clarkson, authorizing the Saenger Theatre Partnership, Ltd. to donate the Saenger Theatre to the Canal Street Development Corporation (CSDC), a nonprofit corporation designed to stimulate business in the Central Business District.

The Council also passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,048, co-authored by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer and Clarkson, allowing the CSDC to lease the property to the Saenger Theatre Redevelopment Company, L.L.C. so that the theatre can be renovated and reopened to serve as an entertainment venue for visitors and residents of New Orleans.

Cynthia Connick, Executive Director of the CSDC, and David Anderson, President and CEO of ACE Theatrical Group, LLC, appeared before the Council to discuss the donation and the subsequent lease agreement.

First opened in 1927, the Saenger Theatre served for many years as a major movie and stage theater in New Orleans. The theatre was in the process of being renovated before suffering considerable water damage due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, "I want to thank the Saenger Theatre Partnership for their donation of the classic Saenger Theatre to our City.  It is the cornerstone of the hopeful development of a theatre district that will spur economic development in the area. It is our hope that, through this partnership, this integral part of the City's history can once again be open for the enjoyment of all New Orleans residents and visitors."

Honored Moise Steeg

Melba Law Steeg appeared before the Council, at the request of Councilmember Clarkson, for a presentation honoring her late husband Moise S. Steeg Jr., attorney, philanthropist, activist and lifelong New Orleanian.

Moise S. Steeg Jr., who died on August 20, 2010, was the founder of The Steeg Law Firm. His activism and philanthropic contributions included support of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Anti-Defamation League, the Historic District Landmarks Commission, Ochsner Foundation Hospital, Tulane Law School, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Woldenberg Park, the New Orleans Police Foundation, and the Youth Leadership Program, among others.

Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "Moise Steeg was dedicated to the betterment of this City and its residents, and the people of New Orleans will remember his kindness and generosity for generations to come. He will surely be missed."

Urged State to Properly Fund Higher Education

Dr. Joe King, Provost for the University of New Orleans (UNO), and other members of the UNO faculty appeared before the Council, at the request of Councilmember Clarkson, to give a briefing on the state of UNO.

King's presentation highlighted UNO's role in the City, including billions of dollars contributed to the City through employment and contributions to the fields of medicine, tourism and disaster management. King also spoke about the state's $14.5 million budget cut to the University and its effects on important programs including accounting, urban planning and international programs.

The Council passed Resolution R-10-469, authored by Councilmember Clarkson, urging the State of Louisiana to properly fund higher education and work with all components of the LSU system to mitigate the impact of future cuts upon UNO.

The Council also heard comments from members of the public, including Millie Charles, former Dean of the School of Social Work at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), who encouraged funding for SUNO and other schools in addition to UNO.

Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "As the first public university in New Orleans, UNO has served an important function in providing both exceptional and affordable education to residents of this City. It is important that we encourage our state representatives to provide higher education with the appropriate funding so that schools such as UNO can continue to provide great educational services."

Created on: 6/21/2018 12:18:06 PM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 12:18:06 PM


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