August 04, 2011
City Council Chamber
City Council August 4, 2011 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - August 4, 2011 - Today the Council passed resolutions supporting the National Register of Historic Places designation of levee breach sites; authorizing a special election to be called on November 19th in New Orleans East; and directing the development of a comprehensive Complete Streets Policy.
The Council also passed a motion tightening ABO license requirements in the Central Business District.
The City Council heard presentations about Prospect 2 New Orleans, a public showcase of international and contemporary art; the status of hurricane damaged properties from the Louisiana Land Trust; and the activities of the Monumental Task Committee, Inc.
U.S. Marine Corps Colonel William P. Davis and St. Augustine High School's new president The Rev. Charles Andrus S.S.J were recognized by the Council.
Proclamations were issued acknowledging New Orleans Federally Qualified Health Week; commending the AAU National Championship placement of the Louisiana Lady Blue Devils and the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame.
Celebrate the Louisiana Lady Blue Devils AAU Championship Tournament
Council President Clarkson presented a proclamation to the Louisiana Lady Blue Devils AAU team. The players, coaches and sponsors were congratulated on their outstanding placement in the AAU National Championship Tournament. The 9th grade Lady Blue Devils team placed sixth in the nation and the 10th grade Lady Blue Devils team placed second in the nation.
Council President Clarkson said, "The ninth grade Lady Blue Devils won 6th in the Nation in AAU Basketball, and the 10th grade team won 2nd in the Nation! We are so proud of these lovely young women, who come from areas throughout our City to play AAU Basketball together. They are true role models."
Support National Register of Historic Places Designation of Levee Breach Sites
The Council passed Resolution R-11-341, co-authored by Councilmembers Guidry and Johnson supporting Levees.org request to designate the 17th Street Canal in Lakeview and the east side north breach site of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal in the 9th Ward on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation of the two levee breach sites will identify their historical impact and assist federal agencies.
After Hurricane Katrina, Congress ordered the Secretary of the Army to create a 16 member committee to develop a National Levee Safety Program to establish a global system of the levee locations, conduct inspections and maintain a national database of levees.
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "The tragedies of Hurricane Katrina have permanently impacted the landscape, history and people of our great City. As we look to the future, the placement of the breach sites on the National Register of Historic Places will forever mark the catastrophic disaster. My hope is that this designation will also be a reminder to our elected leaders and citizens to continue a dialogue about national levee safety and the importance of secure and improved levee systems in New Orleans and across the United States."
Call Special Election in New Orleans EastThe Council passed Resolution R-11-335, authored by Councilmember Johnson that approved a special election to be held on the November 19, 2011. The resolution places on the ballot a referendum to create the Pressburg East Neighborhood Improvement and Security Special Taxing District. If approved by the voters, the District will collect a special ad valorem tax or a flat fee. The ad valorem tax is not to exceed 5 mills on taxable real property within the District. The flat fee levied on parcels in the District is not to exceed annually $200 per parcel. The estimated annual collection amount is $210,400 and collection is set for the years 2012 through 2015. The annual collection will be used solely for the purposes of encouraging and promoting the beautification, security and overall betterment of the Pressburg East Neighborhood Improvement and Security District.
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said "New Orleans East residents are resilient and they want their recovering neighborhoods to be safe and secure. The Council's action enables the citizens of Eastern New Orleans to decide this issue which, if approved, will impact future business and neighborhood development.
Develop Comprehensive Streets Policy
The Council passed Resolution R-11-338, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer to request that the Council's Transportation Committee draft and submit to the full council for consideration a Complete Street Policy. A Complete Street Policy will ensure a fully planned, funded, designed, constructed, managed and maintained comprehensive transportation system. A complete multimodal transportation network will sustain mobility and safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and motorists. Last month, a presentation on this topic was made to the Council's Transportation Committee by the Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) implemented its own policy in July 2010, which has been recognized as the second best statewide policy in the United States, by the National Complete Streets Coalition's Policy Analysis 2010 Report.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "As Chair of the Transportation Committee, I am committed to the development of a Comprehensive Streets Policy that fully integrates all aspects of transportation and infrastructure development. This policy initiative will ensure that the City's transportation system is efficient, innovative and works today, tomorrow and in the future."
Update on the Status of Louisiana Land Trust Properties
At the request of Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, the Council received an update on the status of Road Home Properties by the Executive Director of Louisiana Land Trust Michael Taylor. The Louisiana Land Trust is a nonprofit organization formed to manage hurricane damaged properties that have been purchased by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home Program. LLT's effort is part of the ongoing recovery from the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "It is imperative that the City reduce the number of properties that we receive from LLT upon their sunset. I believe that responsible and strategic auctions are the best way to accomplish this. We are attempting to simplify and expedite the process so we can remove these neglected properties before they become a burden to the City."
Receive Prospect 2 New Orleans Progress Report
At the request of Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, the founding Director of U.S. Biennial and Artistic Director for Prospect New Orleans Dan Cameron received a proclamation and briefed the Council on the upcoming Prospect 2 New Orleans public showcase of international and contemporary art. Opening October 22, 2011 and on view through January 29, 2012, Prospect 2 includes 26 artists from nine countries, including the United States, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Japan, Chile, and Vietnam. In keeping with Prospect's commitment to the promotion of the visual art community in New Orleans, this year's biennial will feature work by several artists who live and work in the City. There will also be a variety of site-specific projects inspired by the distinctive history and culture and conceived specifically for the City of New Orleans.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said "Prospect New Orleans is a tremendous asset from an artistic and economic perspective. The City's cultural economy is an important natural asset and a catalyst for revitalization and continued economic growth. The creativity and culture of New Orleans is a perfect backdrop to showcase this spectacularly planned Prospect 2 showing of international and contemporary art."
Presentation by Monumental Task Committee, Inc.
At the request of Councilmember Guidry, Monumental Task Committee (MTC) Founder and President Pierre McGraw appeared before the Council to discuss the history, accomplishments and future projects of MTC. The organization is a nonprofit volunteer monument preservation organization, founded in New Orleans in 1989. MTC's mission is to restore, repair and maintain monuments located in the City.
Council Vice President Fielkow said, "The City's unique monuments are reminders of our history and rich culture and contribute to the beautiful landscape of New Orleans. The MTC plays a pivotal role in preserving these monuments. The City Council commends you for your efforts. We are especially appreciative of the assistance and leadership that you are providing during these difficult economic times."
Recognize Contributions of Col. William Davis, U.S Marine Corps
At the request of Council President Clarkson, recently retired U.S Marine Corps Colonel William P. Davis was recognized. Among his many career accomplishments are the negotiations to secure the Federal City Project. The Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters recently opened in the new Federal City complex in Algiers. The over 400,000 square foot building is situated on a 29-acre compound and will hold the anchor tenant for the Federal City Development.
Council President Clarkson said, "The contributions made by Colonel William Davis to the Marine Corps, the City of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana are extraordinary. He was instrumental in overseeing the construction of the Marine Corps Headquarters, the anchor tenant of Federal City. In his new life, Colonel Davis will oversee the New Orleans Military/Maritime Academy. The Academy's success is guaranteed under his leadership. We are thrilled that the Colonel and his family will remain in New Orleans and continue to impact the civic and business life of our City and State."
Support New Orleans Federally Qualified Health Center Week
Councilmember Hedge-Morrell presented a proclamation to Michael Andry, CEO of EXCELth Inc., proclaiming New Orleans Federally Qualified Health Center Week August 7th-13th, 2011. EXCELth Inc. is a nonprofit that provides community-based health care and reduces health disparities and improves health outcomes. With the help of nonprofits and federal funding, Federally Qualified Health Centers are able to provide primary, oral and mental health care to the underinsured and impoverished.
District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "Federally Qualified Health Centers are vital in providing quality health care to the people of New Orleans. The key objective is to provide every citizen with adequate and accessible health care. I know that is the goal of EXCELth and I commend your work and the continual efforts made to keep this issue before the public."
Recognize New President of St. Augustine High School
The Reverend Charles Andrus S.S.J. received a proclamation from Councilmember Hedge-Morrell recognizing his appointment as Interim President of St. Augustine High School. Father Andrus was born in Louisiana and was ordained a Josephite Priest in 1976. Recently, Father Andrus was assigned to serve at St. Francis Xavier in Baton Rouge and Corpus Christi Catholic Church and Blessed Sacrament/Joan of Arc in New Orleans.
District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, "I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Father Andrus for providing leadership during the transition at St. Augustine High School. The City Council and the entire New Orleans community recognize the importance of your role. We offer our support and wish you tremendous success in your new position."
Tighten ABO License Requirements in the CBDThe Council passed Motion M-11-201, authored by Councilmember Head, that amended the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to establish a new Interim Zoning District (IZD) in the Central Business District (CBD). This IZD prohibits the transfer of ABO licenses from building to building within the CBD without adherence to the conditional use process. Earlier this spring, the Council directed the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing to consider amending the CZO to establish the IZD and address the zoning issue.
District "B" Councilmember Head said, "We closed a loophole in the law that has for years threatened the health and smart growth of the Central Business District. ABO transfers from building to building are not allowed in any other areas of the City. With passage of this amendment to the CZO, we ensure that regulations are consistent across every neighborhood and commercial corridor of New Orleans."
Praised Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame
Councilmember Head presented proclamations to the honorees of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Crystal Feather Special Recognition Award recipients. Mardi Gras Indian Queen and curator of the Hall of Fame Cherice Harrison-Nelson was also honored and recognized for her efforts on behalf of the Mardi Gras Indian culture.
District "B" Councilmember Head said, "The Mardi Gras Indian culture is another unique and interesting piece of the rich mosaic that is New Orleans. The work of the Hall of Fame is so important to preserving the traditions and passing down to the young people of our community the values and discipline of the Indian tribes. On behalf of all the New Orleanians who have seen and heard and learned about this special culture thank you for your efforts."
United States Coast Guard Celebrates 221st Birthday
Today, The United States Coast Guard celebrated its 221st birthday. This afternoon Council President Clarkson attended local festivities at the World War II Museum bringing greetings and best wishes from the City Council.
Council President Clarkson said "It is the 221st Birthday of the Coast Guard, and they have now been in our City for 125 years. The City of New Orleans is proud to be the home of its 8th District Command, which is the largest Coast Guard District in the World. I was thrilled to be able to thank the Coast Guard today for the leadership they gave during Hurricane Katrina, leading the search and rescue with our first responders. As a result, 20,000 people were saved."