Regular Meeting

September 26, 2013 

City Council Chamber

City Council September 26, 2013 Regular Meeting Summary

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed a resolution strengthening blight remediation strategies in the City. The Council also introduced on first reading an Ordinance amending the permissible vehicle age for taxicabs operating in the City.

In other business, the Council received a presentation from representatives of the Orleans Public Education Network regarding their "Ready, Set, Go!" school readiness initiative. The Council also honored Jerry Romig for his 44 years as the "voice of the New Orleans Saints."

Received Presentation on School Readiness Initiative

Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN) Executive Director Deirdre Johnson Burel and Community Coordinator Saundra Reed appeared before the Council to present information on OPEN's "Ready, Set, Go!" school readiness initiative. OPEN is a non-profit organization that emphasizes the importance of public engagement to build successful public schools.

Reed provided the Council with a summary of the initiative's goals and strategies including:
  • Utilization of the Early Development Instrument, which measures areas of childhood development to ultimately evaluate how children are developing in the community.
  • Empowerment of parents, community organizations, childhood service providers, city government and key stakeholders with information on the school preparedness level of children in their neighborhoods.
  • Provision of collected data to schools to help them allocate resources strategically.
  • Partnership with over 30 schools in the RSD, OPSB, and the Archdiocese to collect data on kindergartners' school readiness.
Click here for more information on the "Ready, Set, Go!" initiative.

District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "As a City, we must invest in our youth to help our neighborhoods grow into stronger, better communities. I look forward to seeing the progress of this initiative, which is dedicated to setting our children up to succeed in the classroom."

Strengthened City Blight Remediation Strategies

The Council passed Resolution R-13-445, co-authored by Councilmembers Cantrell and Head, to redouble the City's efforts to fight blight in a comprehensive, strategic, participatory, fair, effective and transparent manner. 

On September 18th, the Council convened a special Committee of the Whole meeting on blight, which was attended by hundreds of citizens. The resolution reflects the community input received at this meeting, which identified critical substantive principles to guide the City's blight remediation efforts:
  • Blight strategies should be informed, coordinated and implemented from the bottom up as well as the top down.
  • Blight strategies should be targeted and tailored to specific neighborhood market types, not a one size fits all approach.
  • Blight strategies should reward people for doing the right things, not just punish people for doing the wrong thing.
  • Information on the status of each property in the code enforcement pipeline must be readily available and easily accessible.
  • The ultimate goals of blight remediation are the establishment of healthy, sustainable neighborhoods, the preservation of historic buildings, and the creation of better housing choices and wealth building opportunities for residents.
Council Vice President Head said, "New Orleans is made up of many unique neighborhoods, each with its own strengths and challenges. We hope to diversify and strengthen the City's existing blight strategies to offer a more custom approach tailored to each community's needs."

District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "Community involvement has been a critical and necessary component of the development of these new strategies and this Resolution is a testament to our engaged and informed citizens and the pride they have in their neighborhoods."

Honored Jerry Romig "Voice of the New Orleans Saints"

Jerry Romig, along with members of his family, appeared before the Council to receive a Proclamation honoring him for his 44 years as the New Orleans Saints public address announcer.

Romig began his career as announcer for the Saints in August of 1969. Throughout his career, Romig called a total of 446 games, never missing a home game. The Saints' preseason game against the Oakland Raiders on August 16 marked Romig's final game as the "Voice of the New Orleans Saints." Jerry Romig formerly worked for The Times-Picayune, WDSU-TV, and the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He was founding President and General Manager of WLAE-TV, and worked as Senior Counsel at Peter Mayer Advertising, where he retired in 2008.

The position of public address announcer for the Saints has been filled by Jerry's son, Mark, who announced his first home Saints game on Sunday, September 8th when the Saints opened their regular season against the Atlanta Falcons. Mark also serves as President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "We are honored to celebrate Jerry Romig today, someone who has spent a lifetime announcing plays and stats for our beloved home team. Jerry is a living, breathing historian of our New Orleans Saints and we are truly grateful for his dedication to the Saints and Saints fans over the last four decades."

Introduced Ordinance to Amend Permissible Vehicle Age for Taxis

The Council introduced on first reading Ordinance Calendar No. 29,777, co-authored by Councilmembers Gray, Cantrell, Head and Hedge-Morrell, to amend and reordain the City Code relative to the maximum permitted age for vehicles operating as taxicabs in the City.

Specifically, the ordinance extends the period within which the ten-year age provision for taxicabs will remain in effect from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. This effectively maintains the permissible vehicle age for taxicabs at ten years though December 31, 2014, at which point the taxicab age provision will convert to a permissible vehicle age of no greater than seven years.

The ordinance aims to alleviate the potential financial burden that many taxicab owners and operators would face should they be required to replace vehicles greater than seven years old in order to continue operating in 2014. The Council plans to vote on the ordinance at its next regular meeting on Thursday, October 10th.

Created on: 6/21/2018 11:46:18 AM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 11:46:18 AM


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