November 03, 2011
City Council Chamber
City Council November 3, 2011 Regular Meeting Summary
New Orleans, LA - November 3, 2011 - Today, the City Council heard a presentation from the State's Recovery School District Superintendent John White outlining his strategic plan for New Orleans Schools.
Highlighting homeownership opportunities, historic preservation, commercial investment and community revitalization, representatives of the Central City neighborhood and the O.C. Haley commercial corridor also appeared before the Council. The Son of a Saint Sports Foundation presented its REPLAY Program detailing the partnership between the foundation, the Council and City Employees.
In other Council action, ordinances were passed extending the time for design review of multi-family housing in New Orleans East, ratifying the Accessible Taxicab Program and authorizing the addition of a new carnival Krewe to the 2012 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule. The Council also took action on resolutions approving community grant funding for over 40 local organizations and honoring New Orleanian Ronald Washington, Manager of Baseball's American League Champion Texas Rangers.
Extended Design Review Timeline Governing Multi-Family Housing in New Orleans East
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,692, authored by Councilmember Johnson to extend for an additional 180 days the Eastern New Orleans Multi-Family Residential Interim Zoning District that governs multi-family housing design standards. City Planners will have additional time to review and submit reports relative to the design and construction of multi-family housing
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "This action ensures that City Planning has the additional time to thoughtfully consider design standards for multi-family housing. As Eastern New Orleans continues to recover, the Council wants to make certain that the housing standards in New Orleans East are better than they have ever been in the past."
Ratified Accessible Taxicab ProgramThe City Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28,737, co-authored by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer and Granderson to allow the City and its taxicab industry to better serve the mobility-challenged and elderly population. The ordinance creates the Accessible Taxicab Program to allow the same access to taxicab services for individuals with disabilities as are provided to individuals without disabilities. An Accessible Taxicab (AT) accommodates passengers using a wheelchair or other personal mobility device. The AT operates at rates per-mile or on a waiting-time basis, or both. AT's are identified as a minivan or similar vehicle with rear or side access ramps. They are equipped with a taxi meter and prioritize requests for curb-to-curb service for people with disabilities and wheelchair users. All AT's must comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Federal Motor Vehicle Standards and the guidelines set forth by City ordinance and administered by the Department of Safety and Permits.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "The impact of this ordinance is two-fold. First, it provides an extraordinarily improved and accessible service to elderly and mobility challenged citizens and visitors. This action is also another step in a comprehensive effort by the Administration and the Council to continue to innovate and reform the City's taxicab and for-hire vehicle industry."
Authorized Addition to the 2012 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28, 734, co-authored by Councilmembers Hedge-Morrell, Granderson, Guidry, Clarkson, Head, Gisleson Palmer and Johnson, to add a new Krewe to the 2012 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule. The Krewe of Nyx, a new female carnival organization, was officially added to the schedule and is expected to parade on Wednesday evening prior to the final weekend of Mardi Gras. The Krewe of Nyx will roll following the Krewe of Druids. The Mardi Gras ordinance permits 34 organizations to parade during the carnival season. Currently 31 organizations are on the carnival schedule, leaving three current parade openings.
Councilmember-at-Large Granderson said, "The Krewe of Nyx has demonstrated a strong organizational presence and enthusiastic membership. We welcome this new organization to the annual carnival schedule and look forward to seeing the inaugural parade."
Honored New Orleanian Ronald Washington Manager American League 2011 Champion Texas Rangers
The Council passed Resolution R-11-516, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, Johnson, Granderson, Clarkson, Head, Gisleson Palmer and Guidry, that honored the achievements of native son Ronald Washington and declared November 14th Ron Washington Day. This past October, Washington managed the American League Champion Texas Rangers to its second consecutive World Series appearance. He is the third African American to manage a team into a World Series, joining Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays and Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants. Washington is a former Major League Baseball short stop, who played for the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros. He has also coached for the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics. The native New Orleanian also plays an integral role in the partnership between Major League Baseball and the City of New Orleans in its efforts to restore Wesley Barrow Stadium and bring the Urban Youth Academy to historic Pontchartrain Park subdivision.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "Our native son Ron Washington is a committed leader and role model. We congratulate him on his great successes in baseball and in life. His humanity and love of New Orleans is unmatched. We thank him for his role in the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy to be housed at a restored Wesley Barrow Stadium and for never forgetting his beloved home town."
Approved Community Grant Funding
The Council passed Resolution R-11-515, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson, Granderson, Guidry, Head, Gisleson Palmer, Hedge-Morrell and Johnson that awarded grant funding to over forty local organizations. The City Council / Harrah's Community Support Grants program awards $225,000 annually to organizations that demonstrate contributions to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of the City. The City Council approves the eligibility, procedures and monitoring of the grant program. Community grants are awarded semi-annually. Among the over 40 organizations that received grants were Louisiana Creole Research Association, Inc., Project Lazarus, Louisiana Cultural Economy, Covenant House New Orleans, Metro Bicycle Coalition of New Orleans, Rubarb Community Bike Shop, and New Orleans Afrikan Film & Arts Festival Project.
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "The Council is always pleased and especially in these tough economic times to award these grants to deserving organizations and community programs. We only wish that this grant funding source allowed every eligible applicant to receive additional resources to further their community mission."
Received Recovery School District Superintendent Report
The Council received a presentation from the Superintendent of the Recovery School District (RSD) John White. The presentation, entitled "What Will it Take" was given by the Superintendent who assumed his position in May of this year. Superintendent White outlined RSD's twelve commitments to New Orleans schools. Among the points stressed were excellence, equity, accountability and community. According to White, the RSD's goal is to transform schools and increase the number of students on the path to college and career. Since its beginnings in 2003, the RSD has worked to identify top school leaders and teachers to operate schools, assist parents in choosing the schools that are most well suited for their children and help students reach their potential. Louella Givens, 2nd District, Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education representative, appeared with Superintendent White. Givens commended the Superintendent for his work and commitment to the New Orleans Recovery School District. For additional information on the Recovery School District click here.
Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "The Recovery School District has made tremendous strides for New Orleans schools. Every child deserves a good education and an opportunity to pursue learning and career goals. We appreciate Superintendent White's commitment to the New Orleans Recovery School District."
Highlighted Central City's Homeownership, Investment & Community Revitalization
At the request of Councilmember Head, the Council received a presentation from key participants in the revitalization of Central City. The Council heard from Gary Williams, Vice President of Hope Credit Union, Michelle Kimball and Sarina Mohan of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Dennis Bagneris, Jr., Catering Manager of Liberty's Kitchen, and Adrian and Marsha Darby, owners of Adrian's Bakery, regarding the come-back of the Central City Neighborhood. The presenters touched on homeownership, commercial investment, historic preservation and community revitalization. The Council presented proclamations expressing appreciation to those contributing to the cultural and economic development of Central City. The public is invited to attend the Central City Home Tour on Saturday, November 12th. For additional information about upcoming Central City Neighborhood activities click here.
District "B" Councilmember Head said, "Due largely to committed entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations, Central City is undergoing an economic and cultural transformation that includes homeownership opportunities, emerging small business and commercial development. The revitalization of this community is an amazing transformation for our City. Central City is New Orleans' next great rediscovered neighborhood."
Featured Son of A Saint Foundation REPLAY Program
At the request of Councilmember Guidry, the Council received a presentation from Son of a Saint Sports Foundation Founder and President Bivian "Sonny" Lee III. Lee discussed the kick-off of a month-long collection drive of slightly used or new athletic equipment in the lobby of City Hall. The Son of Saint's REPLAY Program distributes the equipment to underprivileged children. The collection bins will be located in the lobby of City Hall from November 3rd through December 2nd. Items can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Council presented a proclamation commending the Son of a Saint Sports Foundation on their mission to bring sports and recreation to local youths. Lee is the son of Bivian Lee, Jr., the late former NFL defensive back for the New Orleans Saints (1971- 1975). He passed away in 1984, at the age of 36, leaving behind a wife, a 5-year-old daughter, and his 3-year-old son, "Sonny" Lee III. On January 1, 2011, in honor of his father, Sonny established the Son of a Saint Sports Foundation. For more information about the foundation and the REPLAY Program visit www.sonofasaint.org.
District "A" Councilmember Susan Guidry said, "I am thrilled that the Council is partnering with City employees to assist this wonderful nonprofit organization. Sports and recreation have a positive impact on the lives of children. Every child deserves an opportunity to play sports and have the appropriate equipment to participate."