Regular Meeting

December 15, 2011 

City Council Chamber

City Council December 15, 2011 Regular Meeting Summary

New Orleans, LA - December 15, 2011 - Today, the New Orleans City Council heard a presentation from New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas concerning the adjustments made to the boundaries of the eight NOPD patrol districts which are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2012.

In other action, the City Council approved a new Cable Franchise Agreement with Cox Communications and authorized the termination of the lease agreement between the City and World Trade Center of New Orleans, Inc., a trade and business organization.

Ordinances were adopted to establish a Complete Streets Policy and approve the Downtown Development District's 2012 Vision for the CBD. By motion, the Council selected the legal, accounting and engineering firms that will provide professional utility and regulatory consulting services to the legislative body into the future.

Louisiana State Senator J.P. Morrell and Representative Jared Brossett presented the Council with checks totaling $50,000 for the New Orleans Police Department and the City's Recreation Department. The Council also passed a resolution designating January 6, 2012, the first day of the Carnival Season, as Allison "Big Chief" Tootie Montana Day in New Orleans.

A proclamation was issued by the Council honoring the outstanding achievements of Jockey Rosie Napravnik as the first female jockey to earn a riding title at the Fair Grounds Race Course and the first female jockey to win the $1 Million Louisiana Derby aboard Pants on Fire. 

New NOPD Patrol District Boundaries Discussed

At the request of the City Council, New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas appeared before the Council to discuss recent adjustments made to the boundaries of the City's eight patrol districts. Effective January 1, 2012, NOPD will shift its patrol district coverage areas. Among the changes, the 3rd, 6th and the 8th patrol districts will expand, taking in new neighborhoods. The remaining districts will reduce in size. The exception is the 4th district which comprises Algiers, which will remain the same. Superintendent Serpas explained that the new reorganization of patrol districts addresses citizen complaints relative to slow response times in more remote and understaffed districts; it equitably distributes police officers across the City and ensures accountability among midlevel NOPD management. 


Council President Clarkson said, "As the Council and the Administration consider every possible crime fighting strategy, the equitable distribution of police officers across the City is of paramount importance. Every citizen in every neighborhood should have equal access to law enforcement protection at any hour of the day or night. Public safety is the Council's number one priority and we support your efforts to reduce crime and violence on the streets of New Orleans."   

Established Complete Streets Policy

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28,766, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, that establishes a complete streets policy to enhance ongoing infrastructure projects and encourage the continual development of a comprehensive transportation system. The complete streets policy will ensure a fully planned, funded, designed, constructed, managed and maintained transportation network. This complete multimodal transportation network will sustain mobility and safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and motorists. 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 bringing innovative and sustainable models forward to ensure comprehensive transportation system development across the City of New Orleans. The complete streets ordinance fully integrates all aspects of transportation planning and infrastructure development." 

Council Utility Advisors Selected

The Council passed Motion M-11-574 to select the firm SNR Denton, US, LLP to provide legal services to the City Council on electric and gas regulatory matters. The contract is on a month to month basis up to one year. The action gives the Council additional time to review the other two legal submissions until a final decision is made on the responses to the request for qualifications for legal services. The Council also passed Motion M-11-573 to select Wilkerson & Associates, PLC as special utility regulatory legal counsel for a period of five years, renewable on an annual basis. Additionally, the Council passed Motion M-11-577 to select Legend Consulting Group Limited to provide engineering consulting electric and natural gas regulatory services, for a period of five years, renewable on an annual basis. Finally the Council passed Motion M-11-578 to select Pailet, Meunier and LeBlanc, LLP in partnership with Bruno and Tervalon, LLP to be retained as Certified Public Accountant to provide electric and natural gas regulatory services. The firms answered a Request for Qualifications issued in September by the City Council to determine and select qualified and experienced legal, technical and engineering professional regulatory advisors.


District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "The response to the request for qualifications presented the Council with a group of outstanding and well qualified professionals. The Council greatly appreciates the time taken to prepare these proposals and the extraordinary expertise presented by all of the firms."

Received Funds for New Orleans Police Department and New Orleans Recreation Department

State Senator J.P. Morrell and State Representative Jared Brossett appeared before the Council to present two $25,000 checks allocated to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) from the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission. Each year the Commission generates a surplus which is divided among Louisiana parishes. Until 1995, when Act 1227 was passed, New Orleans was excluded from this allocation. Under the current legislation, the distribution of the state funds from the Causeway toll tag overages will continue until 2017. The $25,000 allocated to the NOPD will finance the purchasing of bulletproof vests for police officers. The NORD will use its funds to improve recreational activities and projects. 


Council President Clarkson said, "Financial allocations that improve recreational programs for the community and support the efforts of the New Orleans Police Department are always appreciated. I would like to commend Senator Morrell and Representative Brossett for their hard work on the legislation for the allocation of these funds."

Declared Allison “Big Chief” Tootie Montana Day

The Council passed Resolution R-11-572, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, to declare January 6, 2012, the first day of the Carnival - Mardi Gras Season, Allison "Big Chief" Tootie Montana Day in the City of New Orleans. Big Chief Tootie Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas tribe, commonly known as the "Chief of Chiefs", dedicated more than fifty years of his life to the art and culture of the Mardi Gras Indians. Famous for his incredible handcrafted suits, Big Chief Montana is also known for his commitment to moving the Mardi Gras Indian tradition from physical violence to aesthetic competition. In July of 2005 Big Chief Tootie Montana died tragically of a heart attack while speaking on behalf of Mardi Gras Indians at a City Council meeting. He was surrounded by his Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs, members of their tribes, family and supporters.


District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "Big Chief Tootie Montana personified the rich culture of the Mardi Gras Indians. His vision of the Indian culture as peaceful, highly skilled and craft oriented has had a profound impact on our City. His legacy will live on through the people who knew and loved him and the future generations of Mardi Gras Indians."

Recognized Achievements of Jockey Rosie Napravnik

At the request of Councilmember Guidry, Jockey Rosie Napravnik appeared before the Council to receive a proclamation recognizing her achievements. At just 23-years-old Napravnik is one of the top female jockeys in the nation. She is the first woman in history to earn a riding title at the Fair Grounds Race Course. In March of 2011, Napravnik became the first female to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, riding Pants on Fire. Rosie was the sixth female jockey in history to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Napravnik, aboard Louisiana Derby winner Pants on Fire, finished ninth. Of the five other women who had ever ridden in the Kentucky Derby, none of them finished better than 11th. Napravnik, a New Jersey native, has chosen New Orleans as her home base, a city she has come to love. Last spring, she and her new husband Joe Sharp, a horse trainer, purchased a home in the Mid City Neighborhood. The Council commended Rosie for her many accomplishments and welcomed her as a new resident of New Orleans.

District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "It is amazing to see so much talent in such a young woman. I am sure there will be many more outstanding achievements in her future. We are thrilled that she has experienced such success and that she has decided to make New Orleans her home."  

Authorized Termination of World Trade Center Lease

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28,727, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson, Gisleson Palmer, Granderson and Head, to authorize the execution of a termination of lease agreement between the World Trade Center of New Orleans, Inc., a trade and business organization, and the New Orleans Building Corporation. The Council also authorized a cooperative endeavor agreement to be entered into between the New Orleans Building Corporation (NOBC) and the Canal Street Development Corporation (CSDC). The agreement gives CSDC the authority to administer and operate the remaining obligations associated with the Hilton Garage parking lease. Appearing before the City Council Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development, Cedric Grant, advised the Council that with the relocation of the World Trade Center organization's operations and now the final termination of the World Trade Center (WTC) building lease the City is a step closer to possible redevelopment of the building site located at Canal St. and the Mississippi River.  

District "B" Councilmember Head said, "We remain hopeful that the actions taken today by the Council will move the City forward and present viable opportunities for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. This site is positioned literally adjacent to one of the City's most important assets, the Mississippi River. I fully support moving quickly to explore all options to return this site to commerce."

Granted Orleans Cable Franchise to Cox Communications

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28,740, authored by Councilmember Guidry, to grant a cable franchise to Cox Communications Louisiana to operate in Orleans Parish. This ordinance renews Cox Communications Cable Franchise with the City from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2021. The Council's Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee with the Council's advisors oversaw the 2011 cable franchise renewal process. The operations of Cox Louisiana were reviewed to determine if the company has met its franchise obligations and was deemed in compliance of its franchise agreement. Cox Communications has operated a non-exclusive franchise in Orleans Parish since the mid 1980s. The Franchise was renewed in 1995. The Council also passed Motion M-11-582 that authorized a compromise agreement be signed requiring that Cox, under its current cable franchise, pay an additional $98,000 in franchise fees to resolve technical and financial audit and community assessment findings. The compromise agreement also pays the City of New Orleans a sum equal to one half of its costs not to exceed $200,000 for the franchise auditing work performed by the Council's Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Advisors.


District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "This final agreement caps a year long process which included public hearings, engagement with citizens, an online survey and a thorough review of the operations of Cox Communications by the Council and its cable and telecommunications advisors. We have negotiated a fair and reasonable compromise agreement covering the financial audit of the current cable franchise. Going forward the new franchise agreement is solid and beneficial to the City."

Approved Downtown Development District 2012 Plan

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28,722, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson, Granderson, Guidry, Head, Gisleson Palmer, Hedge-Morrell and Johnson, to adopt the Downtown Development District (DDD) 2012 Plan to provide additional capital and special services, facilities and/or improvements for the DDD of the City of New Orleans.

Council Vice-President Eric Granderson said, "The Council has reviewed the plan and we fully support the 2012 scope of work as outlined. We look forward to working closely with the DDD throughout 2012 to ensure that a plan is implemented that promotes an economically progressive and unique downtown vision."

Created on: 6/21/2018 11:50:21 AM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 11:50:21 AM


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