May 22, 2014
City Council Chamber
City Council May 22, 2014 Regular Meeting Summary
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed Motions approving Mayoral appointments to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and appointing Councilmembers to various City boards, agencies and commissions. The Council also passed a Resolution requesting a review of the necessity of the NOPD Consent Decree's officer rotation requirement. Ordinances were also adopted supporting renovations to the George W. Carver playground and designating a "Clean Zone" during the 2014 Essence Music Festival.
In other business, the Council passed a Resolution recognizing Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson for her career in public service. The Council also presented Proclamations celebrating the men of New Orleans urban radio and recognizing native New Orleanian and film star Anthony Mackie for his accomplishments. Councilmembers also received a presentation on the Healthy NOLA/Health Ambassador Program.
Additionally, the Council convened in Executive Session to address three matters of litigation:
- New Orleans Firefighters Pension and Relief Fund v. City of New Orleans, Civil District Court No. 2012-7061
- Moore and Moore Trucking LLC v. City of New Orleans 14-2169 "I"
- Moore and Moore Trucking LLC v. City of New Orleans 14-3638 "L"
Designated "Clean Zone" for Essence Festival
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,131 to provide for the designation of public property within areas of the City as a temporary "Clean Zone" relative to the use of this area in conjunction with the 2014 Essence Music Festival, which begins on Thursday, July 3rd and ends on Sunday, July 6th.
This designation provides for the temporary prohibition of the transaction of any business on public streets, sidewalks, rights of way, and outside of an enclosed building, including the sale of food, beverages, and/or merchandise, within the "Clean Zone" areas. Permits relative to the aforementioned prohibited activities shall be suspended; inflatables, unauthorized general advertising, and the placement of unauthorized tents will be prohibited within the "Clean Zone" during the effective dates and times.
The Ordinance establishes the "Clean Zone" within the French Quarter as the area bounded by Canal Street, Rampart Street, Elysian Fields Avenue, along Frenchmen Street (including Washington Square Park), the Historic Treme District and the east bank of the Mississippi River, including Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Louis Armstrong Park, Crescent Park, and the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint. The temporary "Clean Zone" will be effective from 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 1st until 6:00 p.m. on Monday, July 7th.
Council Vice President Williams said, "We are proud to have Essence Festival call New Orleans home. Each year citizens and visitors attend the Essence Festival to enjoy world-class music and unique culture, and we want to ensure that festival patrons have a safe and pleasant experience in our City."
Appointed Councilmembers to City Boards, Commissions, and Agencies
The Council adopted Motion M-14-204, authored by Councilmember Head, making the following appointments:
• Councilmember-at-Large Head is appointed to the Criminal Justice Council, the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation for the years 2014 and 2016, and the Board of Directors of the Canal Street Development Corporation. Councilmember-at-Large Head is also appointed as the Council's representative on the Revenue Estimating Conference.
• Councilmember-at-Large Williams is appointed to the Criminal Justice Council, the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation for the years 2015 and 2017, the Board of the City Park Improvement Association, and the Board of Directors of the NOLA Business Alliance. Councilmember-at-Large Williams is also appointed as the Council's representative to the Louisiana Police Jury Association.
• District "A" Councilmember Guidry is appointed to the Board of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Board of the Municipal Yacht Harbor Corporation, the Criminal Justice Council, the New Orleans Children and Youth Planning Board, and the Board of the City Park Improvement Association.
• District "B" Councilmember Cantrell is appointed to the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Building Corporation, and the Board of Directors of the Canal Street Development Corporation.
• District "C" Councilmember Ramsey is appointed to the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and the Board of Directors of the Canal Street Development Corporation.
• District "D" Councilmember Brossett is appointed to the Board of the Municipal Yacht Harbor Corporation.
• District "E" Councilmember Gray is appointed to the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board.
Additionally, members of the Council serve ex-officio on various boards and commissions as follows:
• The two Councilmembers-at-Large serve on the Board of Liquidation, City Debt, the Regional Planning Commission, and the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Building Corporation.
• The Council President serves on the Board of City Trusts.
• The District "B" and District "C" Councilmembers serve on the Board of the Greater New Orleans Tourist and Convention Commission.
• The District "C" Councilmember serves on the Algiers Development District Board.
Council President Head said, "In addition to our duties as Councilmembers, we each have the privilege of serving on various City boards and agencies dedicated to a variety of civic services and functions. We look forward to serving our citizens in these additional leadership roles."
Celebrated Men of New Orleans Urban Radio
Gregory "Papa Smurph" Vigne, LeBron "LBJ" Joseph, Leo Bobby "Slick Leo" Coakey, and Keoka Leach, the daughter of Charles "Captain Charles" Leach, appeared before the Council for a presentation of Proclamations honoring each of them for their contributions to New Orleans urban radio.
The Council presented proclamations outlining each man's background, careers, and accomplishments in the broadcast industry. Vigne has more than 30 years of broadcast experience and is the radio host for Old School 106.7. Joseph, a radio and television personality with 34 years of experience, currently serves as co-host of "News With a Twist," which airs on WGNO-TV (ABC 26). Coakey is a disc jockey with more than 20 years of experience and he recently transitioned from his role as a life guard with NORDC to refocus on his disk jockeying career. Leach is a widely sought-out disc jockey and has become a fixture at city-wide and private events.
Each of the men present spoke about the development of their broadcast careers and how they came to work in New Orleans. They also discussed their activities outside of radio, including working with community groups and youth programs.
Council President Head said, "Our city is known for its culture, music, and unique character, something these gentlemen contribute to on a daily basis. We want to honor these four legendary men for their many accomplishments throughout their careers and for bringing something unique to the New Orleans radio waves."
Approved Cooperative Endeavor Agreement for George W. Carver Playground Renovations
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,141, authored by Councilmember Guidry, authorizing the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana for the purposes of renovating and upgrading George W. Carver playground.
Renovations and upgrades to the playground will include repairs and renovations to the basketball courts and the pavilion; renovations to bathrooms and the concession building; demolition of the existing playground and installation of new play equipment; and planning and construction relative to the project.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "George W. Carver playground has great potential as a neighborhood resource for our families, and I want to thank everyone who has been involved in its redevelopment. The planned renovations and improvements to the playground will create a recreation space that is safe, clean, and accessible to all."
Recognized Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson for Public Service CareerThe Council passed Resolution R-14-202, co-authored by Councilmembers Cantrell and Guidry, recognizing Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson as a realtor and devoted public servant dedicated to the improvement of the quality of life in New Orleans.
A native of New Orleans and the Algiers community, Clarkson began her 24-year public service career in 1990 as New Orleans City Councilmember for District "C."
She subsequently served as State Representative for District 102 and New Orleans City Councilmember-at-Large where she held the offices of President and Vice President alternately.
Throughout her public service career, Clarkson led legislation and activities that resulted in the: creation of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission; establishment of the City's Master Plan and Neighborhood Participation Plan; creation of Federal City; protection of the Office of Inspector General's funding through placement in the City Charter; redevelopment of the Fischer housing project into a neighborhood; development of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; creation of the first Algiers Bonfire; rebuilding of five regional libraries following Hurricane Katrina and establishment of the City's first eight charter schools in Algiers.
Clarkson attended Tulane University and is a graduate of the National Real Estate Institute. She is the daughter of Sophie and Johnny Brechtel, who was a founder of the New Orleans Recreation Department, and has been married to Arthur Alexander Clarkson, Jr. for 60 years.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "Jackie's career is truly impressive. Her love for this city and its citizens is unwavering and I feel honored to have been able to work alongside her on this Council."
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "Jackie has contributed so much to this city, the state, and the region as a whole. She is a truly dedicated and passionate advocate for New Orleans."
Received Presentation on Health Ambassador ProgramDr. Eric Griggs appeared before the Council to give a presentation on his Healthy NOLA/Health Ambassador program. Griggs' presentation outlined the program's various health and wellness events, partnership with non-profits and community organizations, and its overall goal to promote health and wellness through city-wide initiatives.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Griggs is a health contributor on Fox 8 WVUE's Morning Edition, a contributing medical writer for Data News Weekly, and participates in radio broadcasts on WBOK 1230AM. Griggs is also a
spokesperson for the American Cancer Society - Greater New Orleans.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "We thank you for joining the leadership ranks of those dedicated to making our City a better place. We commend you on your work and we ask you to continue to promote health, wellness, and awareness in your efforts to create a healthier New Orleans."
Recognized New Orleans Native for Hollywood SuccessFilm star and New Orleans native Anthony Mackie appeared before the Council to be recognized for his role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and his many contributions to the film industry and to New Orleans.
A New Orleans native, Mackie grew up in Gentilly and attended Warren Easton High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Mackie later attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, as well as Juilliard in New York City. Following Hurricane Katrina, Mackie's love of New Orleans led him to move back to the City full-time. Mackie has been featured in feature films, television series, and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. His acting resume includes roles in 8 Mile, The Hurt Locker, Notorious, and The Adjustment Bureau.
District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "We are so proud of your many accomplishments on- and off-the-screen, and we thank you for your love for New Orleans and your efforts to introduce her to everyone you know in the entertainment industry. Above all, I'm happy to have you as a role model for young people in this city. It's fitting that you have a starring role in Captain America; you are the embodiment of the American dream."
Approved Appointments to Sewerage and Water Board
The Council passed Motions approving the Mayor's appointments to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, as recommended by the Council's Governmental Affairs Committee.
The composition of the Sewerage and Water Board, as approved in the City's Home Rule Charter, is comprised of: the Mayor, two syndicated members of the Board of Liquidation, City Debt, and eight citizen members appointed by the Mayor for staggered four year terms. The citizen members are comprised of: one citizen from each of the five council districts, one citizen serving in an At-Large capacity, and two citizen consumer advocates with community advocacy or consumer protection experience, or experience in a related field.
Citizen members must demonstrate expertise in architecture, environmental quality, finance, engineering, law, public health, or other pertinent disciplines. Applicants for the citizen member seats are reviewed by a Selection Committee composed of representatives from local universities and civic associations, which then recommends three individuals for each open seat for the Mayor to choose from and send to the Council for approval.
Board appointees include: Tamika Duplessis, At-Large (M-14-198); Scott Jacobs, Council District "A" member (M-14-208); Robin A. Barnes, Council District "B" member (M-14-212); Kerri T. Kane, Council District "C" member (M-14-213); Marion B. Brady, District "D" member (M-14-211); Mark M. Moody, Council District "E" member (M-14-209); Kimberly A. Thomas, Consumer/Community Advocate member (M-14-210); and Joseph E. Peychaud, Consumer/Community Advocate member (M-14-199)
Requested Review of Necessity of Consent Decree's Detail Officer Rotation Requirement
The Council passed Resolution R-14-203, introduced by Councilmember Guidry, requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice, the City of New Orleans and Judge Susie Morgan of the Eastern District of Louisiana revisit and determine the necessity of the New Orleans Police Department Consent Decree's annual officer rotation requirement for off-duty police work ("details"). The Council is seeking a determination on whether the requirement to rotate detail officers out of a specific detail at least once every 365 days is necessary to rectify the constitutional deficiencies the Consent Decree is designed to address, and if not, to remove the requirement from the Consent Decree.
The NOPD Consent Decree was negotiated between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the City of New Orleans after a 2011 DOJ investigation discovered a multitude of constitutional violations and deficiencies within the policies and procedures of the NOPD. Specifically, the NOPD's Paid Detail system of off-duty overtime work for officers was found to undermine the quality of NOPD policing, facilitate abuse and corruption by officers, and contribute to inequitable policing and officer fatigue.
The resolution acknowledges the public safety concerns of business owners and residents who have historically hired and developed relationships with off-duty officers due to the officers' intimate knowledge of the environment in which he/she is working, which can only be developed through repeated work of the same detail. The rotation requirement has resulted in customers opting to hire security details outside of the City's Office of Police Secondary Employment.
The resolution also acknowledges the restructuring of the City of New Orleans' Paid Detail system to better utilize public funds, preserve the integrity of NOPD employees' primary work and ensure best payment, oversight and administrative practices for detail officers.
District "A" Councilmember Susan Guidry said, "While I have no doubt that the rotation requirement is rooted in good intentions, it has had a negative impact on both our officers and detail customers. This resolution asks those closely involved with the implementation and oversight of the consent decree to take a closer look at whether the rotation requirement is indeed necessary to rectify the problems that the consent decree was designed to address."