June 16, 2011
City Council Chamber
City Council June 16, 2011 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - June 16, 2011 - Today, the Council passed a resolution urging parties to negotiation a mutually agreeable outcome regarding the ongoing St. Augustine High School community issue. Also by resolution, the Council took action requesting that the State of Louisiana expedite the implementation of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Lake Forest Plaza in New Orleans East.
A motion was passed directing the City Planning Commission to conduct public hearings to consider an amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance that would provide for Cultural Residency Accommodations for artists, musicians and other professionals in the creative arts industry. The Council initiated, by motion, the process to rename St. Claude Street in the Treme neighborhood to Henriette Delille Street. Henriette Delille was a free woman of color who founded the Catholic order of the Sisters of the Holy Family.
Also appearing before the City Council were, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser who issued a status report on the BP Oil Spill recovery efforts; Tourism Industry Leader Sandra Shilstone was recognized for her service to the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation; and, representatives of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. New Orleans Alumnae Chapter discussed the organization’s Red and White Day and the organization’s community work.
Introduced City-Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation Agreement
The Council introduced Ordinance Calendar No. 28,527, co-authored by Councilmembers Fielkow, Hedge-Morrell and Clarkson to authorize the City of New Orleans enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation to administer and operate the New Orleans MLB Urban Youth Academy at Wesley Barrow Stadium in the Pontchartrain Park Sub Division. The City has identified the Barrow Stadium as a City recreation area that will promote the goals and objectives of youth participation and grassroots involvement in the sports of baseball and softball. Under the agreement, the Stadium will be developed as a new, state-of-the-art facility, through improvements to existing facilities or the construction of new facilities.
Council Vice President Fielkow said, “The Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy will be a great addition to the entire City of New Orleans. This state-of-the-art youth sports facility is a transformational project for the City of New Orleans. The fact that Major League Baseball selected New Orleans to be its first non-MLB city to host an Academy is a testament to the resiliency of our citizens and the bright future which lies ahead. I thank Major League Baseball for having the confidence to bring this tremendous asset to the youth of the Crescent City,” said Councilmember Fielkow.
District “D” Councilmember Cynthia Hedge- Morrell said, “I'm thrilled to see months of hard work pay off to bring the MLB Urban Youth Academy to New Orleans. Major League Baseball's representatives have shown continued dedication to our community, and we're happy to have them bring this program to our youth,” said Councilmember Hedge-Morrell.
Council President Clarkson said, “The Urban Youth Academy will create a positive outlet for the energy of our City’s youth, while opening their eyes to the opportunities that stem from “the American Pastime” – from the fun of playing the sport to learning the skills for broadcasting, journalism, grounds keeping, training, coaching, and more. With this program, the MLB strives to instruct youth in the same vein that we as a City hope to, by instilling integrity, respect, accountability, character, and teamwork. We must thank Councilmember Fielkow for his great efforts in bringing the Urban Youth Academy to New Orleans, Councilmember Hedge-Morrell for her help in securing Wesley Barrow Stadium as the academy location, and Jimmie Lee Solomon and Darrell Miller of the MLB for allowing a city without a Major League Baseball team to benefit from the missions of the League.”
Supported Implementation of a TIF for Lake Forest Plaza
The Council adopted Resolution R-11-275, authored by Councilmember Johnson, that urged the State of Louisiana expedite the implementation of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Lake Forest Plaza in New Orleans East. The Council, working with the State of Louisiana had previously supported and voted to implement the TIF. New Orleans East is a community on the rise with a population of 65,000 people. The potential for development is with limit with its large tracks of undeveloped land and access to two interstates, the railways and waterways.
District “E” Councilmember Johnson said, “In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the rebuilding effort of the more than 65,000 residents has been an incredible and inspiring story. To continue rebuilding and growing the economy of New Orleans East, the State of Louisiana must support and implement this TIF. It is a vital economic development tool and key to the community’s success.”
Supports St. Augustine High School Self-Governance
The Council passed Resolution R-11-277, authored by Councilmembers Fielkow, Johnson and Hedge-Morrell, that urged parties to negotiate a mutually agreeable end to the on-going issue. The Council asked that the ultimate objective is continue St. Augustine's self-governance and reunite the St. Augustine High School community. St. Augustine High was founded in 1951 and is an educational and cultural touchstone for the New Orleans community. Under the leadership of the of Josephites, St. Augustine High School has been a leader in removing obstacles and promoting opportunity for African - Americans, in New Orleans and throughout the nation.
Council Vice-President Fielkow said, "For the last several years, New Orleans has embraced a policy that decentralizes education governance as seen through the public charter schools. Allowing St. Augustine to continue its tradition of success by maintaining its self-governance is consistent with that policy. I look forward to seeing St. Augustine's graduates continue to achieve success."
"I have always appreciated the school's well-honed traditions and the hard work of the Josephites to build and maintain one of the finest high schools in the country. St. Augustine's graduates make important contributions in our community," said District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell. "I hope that Rev. William Norvel, the Society of Josephites superior general charged with resolving the St. Aug crisis, will understand the importance of local self-governance and reunite the St. Augustine High School Community."District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "No one can question the success that St. Augustine experiences in providing for the educational needs of African American males in the City of New Orleans. For the past sixty years this system has proven successful. It is a strong indication that the St. Augustine leadership is doing something correctly and we believe they should be allowed to continue those efforts."
Updated BP Oil Spill Recovery Efforts
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser appeared before the City Council to report the progress of the BP Oil Spill recovery efforts. President Nungesser thanked the City Council for their amazing support and assistance during this crisis. The Parish President cautioned that the clean-up battle is not over. He pledged to continue fighting for coastal restoration, the seafood industry and the way of life of so many in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast.
Council President Clarkson said, “Thank you for your leadership. You have thoughtfully and effectively highlighted this issue across the United States and Internationally. The people throughout your Parish appreciate that you saved their jobs, you saved their lifestyles, you saved their homes, and you saved their children’s futures. This is about the people of Louisiana. It’s about the preservation of our State’s natural resources from generations past to generations to come. Thank you for making that an issue.”
Initiated Process to Rename Treme Neighborhood Street
The Council approved at the request that the process be intiated Councilmember Gisleson Palmer that authorized the process to begin the name change of St. Claude Street in the Treme neighborhood to Henriette Delille Street. Henriette Delille (1813-1862) was a free woman of color who founded the Catholic order of the Sisters of the Holy Family. The order provided nursing care, a home for orphans and later established schools. In 1989, the Sisters of the Holy Family formally asked the Vatican to canonize Henriette DeLille. She was declared venerable in 2010. The street name change would apply to St. Claude Street, the blocks 1000-1800, between St. Phillip and St. Anthony. The Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) will review the street name change before the measure returns to the Council for a final vote.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "Sister Henriette Delille's contributions to the poor, homeless and orphaned are extraordinary and integral to the rich cultural history of New Orleans. The renaming of this street in the Treme Neighborhood is a small action to take to recognize a woman who gave so much to New Orleans."
Recognized Tourism Industry Leader Sandra Shilstone
The Council at the request of Council President Clarkson recognized by Council Proclamation long-time Tourism Industry Leader Sandra Shilstone for her service with the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation. The Council expressed its deepest gratitude to Shilstone using her professional talents to promote the spirit and culture of New Orleans. The Tourism Industry Leader was praised for her tremendous experience and steadfast leadership. In particular, she was congratulated for being among the first tourism industry leaders to recognize and promote New Orleans as a family, arts and culture destination.
Council President Clarkson said, "New Orleans is deeply indebted to you for the profound impact that you have had on the tourism Industry. On your watch, as the leader of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, you set the national and international view of New Orleans as a destination for families, a center for the arts, and a multicultural pillar."
Praised Delta Sigma Theta’s Community Outreach Legacy
The Council commemorated Red and White Day with a presentation from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., New Orleans Alumnae members in honor of the 75th Anniversary. The prestigious organization has positively contributed to the improvement of the community and is dedicated to service.
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and its members are instrumental to the enhancement of the Greater New Orleans community, through their constant and devoted service. That service is especially felt in institutions, churches, schools and community organizations across our City and the nation."
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "Delta Sigma Theta is an association that is particularly dedicated to the children, who are the future of our city, many of its members are role models, who have committed themselves to educating and uplifting the youth of New Orleans."