October 15, 2015
City Council Chamber
NOLA City Council Regular Meeting News Summary
Thursday, October 15, 2015 - New Orleans, LA - At today's Regular City Council Meeting, the Council received Mayor Mitch Landrieu's 2016 Proposed Budget. The Council also clarified Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund appropriation requirements, authorized the Mayor to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) with Louisiana State University (LSU) to construct a pedestrian bridge, certified compliance with National Bridge Inspection Standards, and supported an agreement between the Office of Inspector General and the Independent Police Monitor.
In other business, the Council recognized several organizations for their involvement in Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Prior to the Regular City Council Meeting, the Council convened as the Orleans Parish Board of Review and heard recommendations presented by the Council's Property Tax Consultants.
Orleans Parish Board of Review Hears Property Tax Assessment Appeal Recommendations
The New Orleans City Council, sitting as the Orleans Parish Board of Review, heard recommendations presented by the Council's Property Tax Assessment Appeal Consultants.
|HGI Vice-President Matthew Patterson presents before the Council|
The Council convened one hour prior to the Council's Regular Meeting as the Board of Review and received a presentation from HGI Catastrope Services, LLC, relative to the 2016 tax appeal hearings recently held at 1010 Common Street in downtown New Orleans.
The presentation provided information about the number of appeals and the number of hearings conducted. HGI heard 1,433 appeals during the hearing process. Property owners not satisfied with their appeal outcome may further appeal their property tax assessment to the Louisiana State Tax Commission.
The Board of Review passed Resolution R-15-1, adopting its recommendations for assessment appeals in the First through the Seventh Municipal Districts. The Council, acting as Board of Review, also passed Resolution R-15-2, certifying to the Louisiana Tax Commission, by the Secretary of the Board of Review, the 2016 assessment rolls in the First through the Seventh Municipal Districts of Orleans Parish.
Received Mayor Landrieu's 2016 Proposed Budget
|Mayor Mitch Landrieu presenting before the Council |
The Council officially received Mayor Mitch Landrieu's 2016 Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets.
In his address to the Council, the Mayor emphasized that the Administration will continue to invest in top priorities, including public safety, job creation, recreation, streets and streetlights, and blight reduction, while delivering high quality services for New Orleans residents.
Mayor Landrieu said, "Working closely and smartly with the Council, we were able to develop an effective and efficient budget that gets New Orleans headed in the right direction and delivers on residents' demands. Our hard work is paying off, our revenue is up, and now we can invest more in the priorities that are most important to citizens."
Following the Mayor's Budget Address, First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin and Sewerage and Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant outlined the details of the proposed 2016 Operating and Capital Budgets. The City's proposed total Operating Budget is $592.7 million, and the proposed Capital Budget is $484 million.
Click here to view the City's proposed 2016 Operating Budget. Clickhere to view the City's proposed 2016 Capital Budget.
The City Council will hold a series of budget hearings to review the proposed 2016 City Budget. The hearings will begin on Monday, October 26, 2015 and continue through the middle of November. The City Charter requires that the Council adopt the City's 2016 Budget by December 1, 2015.
To view the full Council Budget Hearings Schedule, click here or go to the Council's Meetings Calendar. All hearing days are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., except as noted. The Budget Hearings Schedule is subject to change, and all changes will be posted to the Council's Meeting Calendar.
Supported Office of Inspector General and Independent Police Monitor Agreement
On October 14, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of the Independent Police Monitor (OIPM) signed an agreement to establish an independent office and funding structure for the OIPM. Today the Council passed Resolution No. R-15-507, authored by Councilmembers Brossett and Cantrell, supporting the agreement.
|New Orleans Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson and |
Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux before the Council
The agreement stipulates:
- Both the OIG and the OIPM will support an amendment to the Home Rule Charter of the City of New Orleans to provide the OIPM .16% of the General Fund Budget to be managed and accounted for apart from the OIG. The OIG and the Ethics Review Board (ERB) will share .59% of the General Fund Budget.
- The two offices' jurisdictions will not be affected. The OIG will continue to monitor, investigate and report on waste, fraud, and abuse in the City government, and the OIPM will continue to monitor the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).
- Both parties agree to respect one another's mandate and refrain from publically criticizing or commenting on one another except as it pertains to the respective missions and official duties of each entity regarding NOPD.
- The Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC) review currently in progress will be used soley to improve the operations of the OIPM and will not be used as the basis for terminating the employment of Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson.
- From the moment of signing, the OIG will not object to changes to City Code Sec. 2-1121 regarding funding for the OIPM. There will be no amendments to City Code Sec. 2-1121 in conflict with funding the OIPM at a maximum of .16% of the general fund.
- The OIG will rescind a letter submitted September 24, 2015 to the ERB calling for the termination of the IPM.
- The OIPM will move to a new location as soon as possible, no later than December 31, 2015. The OIG will transfer all excess funds from the ERB's 2015 budget to the OIPM for moving and set up costs.
- Although the Charter amendment may not take effect until later, the OIG will provide .16% of the 2016 general fund budget to the OIPM beginning January 1, 2016.
If voters do not approve the Charter change on an April ballot, the OIG and OIPM will negotiate a memorandum of understanding that will honor the OIPM's operational independence and funding structure in line with the above agreement. In the event of any further disputes, the parties have agreed to work in good faith with an independent mediator to resolve disagreements.
District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, "I am proud to have hosted Mr. Quatreveaux and Ms. Hutson to help them come to an agreement that allows both entities to do their jobs. It is in the best interest of the City of New Orleans to have both a strong, independent Inspector General and a strong, independent Police Monitor, and in my view is what voters hoped for and intended when they supported the creation of the two offices."
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "I am pleased that the Office of Inspector General and Office of the Independent Police Monitor have come to an agreement allowing both offices to operate efficiently and effectively. Now more than ever, we need these agencies to move forward with the work voters have tasked them to do through public referendum. I hope this action will restore public trust in both offices."
Clarified Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund Appropriation Requirements
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,893, authored by Councilmember Cantrell, clarifying the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF) appropriation requirements, the composition of the Neighborhood Housing Advisory Committee, its role in making recommendations to the Mayor relative to the NHIF, and ensure consistency with the original ballot proposition establishing the fund.
The Neighborhood Housing Advisory Committee will assist the Mayor by making recommendations to the Chief Administrative Officer relative to appropriations from the NHIF based on the City's comprehensive housing plan, and Plan for the 21st Century (Master Plan). The Committee will prioritize funding designed to address gaps in the City's housing needs for low and moderate income individuals, families or those with special needs.
The Committee will consist of nine members, seven of which will be appointed by each member of the City Council and two will be selected by the Mayor. Each appointee must possess expertise in one of the following areas: fair housing, community development, architecture and preservation, sustainable development, regional and neighborhood level housing and neighborhood data, smart growth, populations with special needs and community and housing development finance.
Under the ordinance, appropriations from the proceeds of the NHIF must be used to achieve improved housing conditions and neighborhood stability by:
- Providing financing and assistance for home ownership opportunities to families in existing structures.
- Promoting neighborhood stability by eliminating blight through remediation and rehabilitation.
- Providing financing and assistance for safe, affordable rental housing to property owners, provided that rental properties be rented to low and moderate income families for a minimum of ten years after receipt of assistance.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "By updating the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund ordinance, we have two tremendous opportunities. First, we can begin to follow the law and utilize the funding as it was originally intended, which is to address priorities for housing and blight by funding projects directly in neighborhoods.
Second, we can use this opportunity to tie badly needed resources to affordable housing and special needs housing priorities that are right now being identified through the Housing Nola Plan.
The NHIF needs to be a critical part of addressing the crisis we are facing in the city that is putting the cost of rental and owner housing out of reach of many of our citizens. This ordinance will help us leverage another tool in the tool chest to fight blight and increase affordability in our neighborhoods."
Authorized LSU Pedestrian Bridge CEA and Certified Compliance with National Bridge Inspection Standards
|District "B" |
The Council adopted Ordinance Cal. No. 30,984, authored by Councilmember Cantrell, authorizing the Mayor of the City of New Orleans to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with Louisiana State University Agricultural and Mechanical College (LSU) to construct and maintain a utility and pedestrian bridge at the LSU Medical Center. The new bridge will connect to the existing pedestrian bridge that runs from the north side of Gravier Street to the south side of Tulane Avenue.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "I am pleased to see this project move forward. Today's action clears the way for the construction of a safe and effective pedestrian walkway for the LSU Medical Center, a vital resource for our community."
In related business, the Council passed Resolution R-15-504, authored by Councilmember Ramsey, certifying to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) that Orleans Parish has met its responsibility to inspect, rate,
and load post all bridges under its authority in accordance with National Bridge Inspection Standards. Compliance with the National Standards is required for participation in the Off-System Bridge Replacement Program and the continued receipt of federal/non-local funds.
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "Compliance with National Bridge Inspection Standards will ensure that Orleans Parish continues to receive the federal and other non-local funds needed to maintain our bridges."
Recognized Organizations for their Involvement in Breast Cancer Awareness Month
|Women's health experts and activists presenting before the Council|
The Council recognized agencies and organizations for their community involvement in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Presenting before the Council was LSU School of Medicine Associate Professor Dr. Elianana A. Soto, City of New Orleans Health Department Director Charlotte Parent, Susan G. Komen Affiliate Director Lisa Plunkett, Susan G. Komen New Orleans Board Member Lori Barthelemy, Retired State Senator and former District "B" Councilmember Diana Bajoie, and Louisiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program Clinical Director Dr. Denise Roubio-Johnson. The group of experts and activists addressed the Council to promote breast cancer awareness and encourage early detection.
Women who had scheduled an exam at the Woman's Hospital Mobile Mammography truck will have the opportunity to reschedule their exam to a later date.
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "As a breast cancer survivor, I cannot begin to stress the importance of annual screenings. If you have not been screened this year, we ask that you take the time to take care of your health. Please visit your health care professional to request an order for your annual screening. Early detection can mean the difference between life and death."