Regular Meeting

January 22, 2015 

City Council Chamber

City Council January 22, 2015 Regular Meeting News Summary

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council meeting, the Council adopted an ordinance amending the City Code to ban smoking in specified areas of the City. The Council approved a zoning change that allowed for the development of a CVS pharmacy in the Lower Ninth Ward. A motion was passed to appoint Councilmember Brossett as the Council's non-voting representative on the Revenue Estimating Conference.

The Council also introduced an ordinance on first reading which, if adopted, will require private-employers contracted by the city to provide a living wage to their employees.

In other business, the Council issued a proclamation honoring the late Bo Dollis, Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians, and received a performance of the National Anthem from the Martin Behrman Charter School of Creative Arts & Sciences.

Passed Smoking Ban Aimed at Improving Public Health

In a unanimous vote, the Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,455, coauthored by Councilmembers Cantrell and Guidry, to amend and re-ordain Article II of Chapter 66 of the City Code relative to the prohibition of smoking tobacco, tobacco products, natural or synthetic marijuana, other plant products, and/or the use of electronic smoking devices within the City of New Orleans. This Ordinance will take effect 90 days from its adoption. The Council provided 15 minutes for public comment for speakers in support of the ordinance, and 15 minutes for those against.

Drafted with input from the administration, Councilmembers, and the public, the Ordinance bans smoking in:
  • Bars, hotel and motel rooms
  • Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
  • Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor Plaza, Lafayette Square, and outdoor arenas, amphitheaters, recreational areas with playground equipment, and stadiums
  • Schools, training academies, community colleges and universities
  • Public buildings
  • Workplaces with 2 or more employees
  • Video poker venues, off-track betting parlors, and bingo parlors
  • Correctional facilities
Per the Ordinance, smoking is permitted in/on:
  • Private homes and vehicles
  • Cigar or hookah bars in operation before January 8, 2015
  • Shops that sell almost exclusively tobacco products, electronic smoking device businesses, and tobacco distribution or storage facilities
  • Parking lots
  • Convention Center during private functions during specific events
  • Bourbon Street (which is excluded from the requirement forcing smokers to be at least 5 feet from establishment entrances)
Amendments which passed at today's Council meeting and were included in the final approved version of the ordinance include:
  • Removal of the required 7 hours of community service penalty for those offenders unable to pay the $50 fine for violation of the smoking ban, allowing judges to determine the penalty for each offender;
  • Removal of New Orleans Police Department officers as enforcers of the smoking ban, providing instead for enforcement by the City's health, parks, recreation, code enforcement and permitting departments, and NOLA Patrol;
  • Removal of the distance requirements from entrances and windows of establishments where smoking is prohibited

District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, "Today we are making history, as we work together to foster change and growth in our City. This is only one component of the greater goal to make New Orleans a healthier and safer place. I want to thank my colleagues and the coalition of partners, community members and residents who have worked tirelessly to make an impact on public health in our City."    


District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "This is an issue I've long considered to be critically important to our citizens. I am proud to coauthor this Ordinance and I want to thank Councilmember Cantrell for taking the lead on this issue. Our actions today demonstrate our commitment to a healthier and better New Orleans for both our citizens and our visitors."

Supported Construction of CVS Pharmacy in Lower Ninth Ward

The Council approved Zoning Docket 118/14, changing the zoning on the lot bounded by North Claiborne Avenue and Reynes, Forstall and North Robertson Streets from an RD-3 Two-Family Residential District and a B-1 Neighborhood Business District to a B-2 Neighborhood Business District. 5000 N. Claiborne, LLC requested the zoning change to pave the way for construction of a 13,225 square-foot CVS Pharmacy in the Lower Ninth Ward. The City Planning Commission recommended Council approval; there was no neighborhood opposition to the request.  

The CVS will also provide a significant benefit to the neighborhood and will support many of the goals set out by the New Orleans Master Plan. Construction on the store is expected to begin in early spring and will be completed by late summer. Once ground is broken, it will make CVS the first major retailer to build in the neighborhood since Hurricane Katrina.    


District "E" Councilmember James A. Gray II said, "We are excited to have CVS in the Lower Nine not only because it will afford residents an opportunity to shop in their own neighborhood, but will also act as an economic anchor and magnet for businesses in a community sorely needing commercial services. This is the largest scale commercial project to date and will help revitalize this area. More are on the way. I want to thank the CVS organization for its investment in our neighborhoods." 

Appointed Council Non-Voting Representative to Revenue Estimating Conference

The Council passed Motion M-15-29, authored by Councilmember Head, appointing Councilmember Jared C. Brossett as the Council's non-voting representative on the Revenue Estimating Conference.

The Revenue Estimating Conference, which meets at least quarterly, is tasked with preparing and publishing initial and revised estimates of money to be recognized for the current and next fiscal year by the City general fund and all other City operating funds. These estimates are considered to be the "official forecast." The conference is comprised of five members including the Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Finance, City Council representative, and a college or university faculty member with relevant expertise appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Council.

District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, "I am honored to serve as the Council's representative on the Revenue Estimating Conference. I have already attended some of the meetings in order to get up to speed with the conference's activities and I look forward to working in collaboration with the conference members."

Introduced "Living Wage" Ordinance on First Reading

The Council introduced on first reading Ordinance Calendar No. 30,550, introduced by Councilmember Brossett, calling for a mandate requiring City contractors to pay a "living wage" of $10.10 per hour to all employees of the private businesses that do work for the City.

The purpose of the Ordinance is to ensure that taxpayer dollars extended by the City to private contractors are used in a manner that creates jobs and keeps contracted and subcontracted workers and their families out of poverty. This minimum wage will enable those full-time workers to support a family at a level that meets basic needs and avoids economic hardship. The payment of higher wages is associated with increased levels of business investment and employee training, higher worker productivity, and lower employee absenteeism and turnover. A vote on the Ordinance is expected to occur in the near future.
District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, "The Living Wage Ordinance will help improve the standard of living for many New Orleanians that work hard but struggle to put food on the table for their families. The City of New Orleans is limited by State law as to our ability to affect the minimum wage. But we have it within our power, and I would say our moral duty, to ensure that the workers who are paid with City money receive fair wages."

Received Performance of the National Anthem from Local School

Students from Martin Behrman Charter School of Creative Arts & Sciences Academy appeared before the Council to perform the National Anthem and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at today's Council meeting. The school, located in New Orleans' historic Algiers Point, offers some of the City's most creative students an outlet to perfect and present their artistic endeavors which continue to enrich the cultural fabric of the City.

Honored Local Cultural Icon Chief Bo Dollis

The Council recognized New Orleans legend and cultural icon Chief Theodore Emile "Bo" Dollis, and offered the City's condolences to his wife Big Queen Laurita Dollis and his son Bo Dollis Jr. Chief Dollis, of the Wild Magnolia tribe of Mardi Gras Indians, passed away on January 20, leaving behind an impressive legacy of musical talent after appearing as an Indian for over 50 years.

Created on: 6/21/2018 11:32:55 AM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 11:32:55 AM


View the live stream
Opens in a popup window

Back to top