November 04, 2010
City Council Chamber
City Council November 4, 2010 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - November 4, 2010 - Today, the New Orleans City Council passed an Ordinance amending provisions related to the enforcement and procedures of the Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems, and an Ordinance authorizing the extension of Opelousas Avenue into the Federal City Project in Algiers.
The Council also received a presentation commemorating the 50th anniversary of desegregation in New Orleans public schools, and honored the memory of former Council Research Director Jonathan A. Eckert with a presentation and Resolution.
Additionally, the Council presented Proclamations honoring former Director of the City's Department of Parks and Parkways, Flo Schornstein, and recognizing the Pontchartrain Chapter of The Links, Incorporated for its community service.
Recognized Retired City Department Director and Local Service Organization
In advance of the beginning of the meeting, the Council presented Proclamations to various groups and individuals, including honoring Flo Schornstein, former Director of Parks and Parkways, for her many years of service to the City, and recognizing local community group, the Pontchartrain Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, for its philanthropic efforts.
Honored Former Director of Parks and Parkways
Council President Arnie Fielkow presented a Proclamation honoring Flo Schornstein, former Director of the City's Department of Parks and Parkways, as the Parkway Partners' Board of Directors first recipient of the Green Spirit Award because of her "leadership, selfless dedication and passion for the City's green spaces."
In addition to serving as Director of the Department of Parks and Parkways, in 1982 Flo Schornstein founded Parkway Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to involving the community in the maintenance and conservation of the City's green spaces. Ms. Schornstein also serves as Chairman of the Board of Save Our Trees and Executive Director of Touro Infirmary Foundation, and is involved in other community efforts including the United Way (Board of Governors), the National Council of Jewish Women (Past President and Honorary National Vice President), the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service, the Anti-Defamation League and the International Women's Forum.
Councilmembers thanked Schornstein for her years of dedicated work to beautify and preserve the many green spaces throughout the City for the benefit of all the citizens of New Orleans.
Recognized Local Service Organization for Community Efforts
District "E" Councilmember Jon D. Johnson presented members of the Pontchartrain Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an international service organization, with a Proclamation declaring November 14 through 20, 2010 "Just the Right Attitude Food Bank Week."
The Pontchartrain Chapter is undertaking a project to address hunger and poverty in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Specifically, the group will be working in collaboration with the Just the Right Attitude Food Bank, located in New Orleans East, to increase the amount of meals and groceries that this nonprofit service provider is able to provide to families and individuals in need. The Pontchartrain Chapter will also assist the food bank in maintaining sustainability through developing additional partnerships with businesses, organizations, and individuals.
Councilmembers thanked the members of the Pontchartrain Chapter for dedicating their time to serving those in need and encouraged them to keep the Council updated on the Chapter's community efforts throughout the City.
Amended Procedures and Enforcement of Automated Traffic Enforcement SystemsThe Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,198, authored by Councilmember Clarkson, amending the definitions and procedures for Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems in the City Code and moving enforcement of the Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems from the Public Works Department to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).
Ronal Serpas, Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, and Darryl Phillips, Chief Deputy City Attorney, appeared before the Council to discuss the amended procedures of the Automated Traffic Enforcement System and the enforcement of the system by the Police Department.
Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "This Ordinance properly delegates the management of these traffic cameras to the NOPD. This will ensure that they operate effectively and efficiently, and will encourage public safety throughout the City."
Authorized Extension of Opelousas Avenue into Federal City
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,196, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson and Gisleson Palmer, authorizing the City to construct and maintain a roadway over land owned by the Algiers Development District (ADD).
The Ordinance serves as the final legal step in the process of extending Opelousas Avenue into the Federal City Project in Algiers.
Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "I am so excited to be taking this further step in our progress on Federal City, the largest economic development project in the state, which will bring 10,000 high-paying federal and civilian jobs to New Orleans in the next decade."
District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, "The Federal City project is a vital economic development initiative which will bring jobs from the entire region to Algiers, and we look forward to seeing the positive effects that this project will have on our neighborhoods, the City of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana."
Honored the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation in New Orleans Public Schools
Turry Flucker, Project Director for the Louisiana Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice at the Louisiana State Museum, and Advisory Board Members Lynnett W. Colin and Loyce Pierce Wright, appeared before the Council, at the request of Councilmember Johnson, to honor the 50th anniversary of desegregation in New Orleans public schools. Leona Tate and Tessie Prevost Williams, two of the first students to integrate McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School in New Orleans, were also present to share their stories.
Flucker's presentation included information on the Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice, including upcoming events and ways to help fund the museum.
District "E" Councilmember Jon D. Johnson said, "We are honored to recognize these women, who were a part of a very significant moment in the history of our City and our country. It is essential that we appreciate the importance of our history and the lessons we can learn from it." Councilmember Johnson continued, "The Louisiana Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice will help not only to preserve our history, but also to educate our citizens and our youth in particular. We look forward to working with you all to ensure the success of the Center and please keep us updated on all of your efforts."
Honored Jonathan A. Eckert
Family members Kit Eckert, Greg Eckert and Lauren Eckert, along with Ronald Pursell, former Council Chief of Staff, appeared before the Council, at the request of Councilmembers Clarkson and Fielkow, for a presentation honoring the memory of Jonathan A. Eckert, former Council Research Director.
Eckert, who died on July 2, 2010, served in the Chief Administrative Office beginning in 1971 before becoming Director of the Research Division of the New Orleans City Council in 1981. In 1994 he became Special Assistant to Mayor Marc H. Morial, and then returned to Council Research in 2002 where he served as Deputy Director until his retirement in 2009.
The Council passed Resolution R-10-489 extending sympathies to the family and friends of Jonathan A. Eckert and, in recognition of his years of service, naming the New Orleans Public Library's Reading Room of the City Archives the "Jonathan A. Eckert Reading Room." A plaque will be installed in the City Archives in his honor.
Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "Jon was dedicated to serving the City of New Orleans and he was always a constant presence in City Hall. He had a truly brilliant mind and was a knowledgeable resource for all during his many years here. He meant so much to so many of us, both as a friend and as a colleague, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family."
Council President Arnie Fielkow said, "We are honored today to recognize the late Jon Eckert and his many contributions and years of service to the City. He was a mentor and teacher to many Councilmembers, Mayors and staff throughout his years at City Hall and he will be truly missed."