December 01, 2015
City Council Chamber
City Council December 1, 2015 Regular Meeting News Summary
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - New Orleans, LA - At today's Regular Council meeting, the Council adopted the 2016 Capital & Operating Budgets and ad valorem taxes and set the 2016 Mardi Gras parade schedule.
At the request of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, an ordinance was introduced on first reading regarding the removal of certain monuments from outdoor public display. On July 9, 2015, Mayor Landrieu formally requested that the City Council begin the legislative process to consider the removal of certain monuments. If passed, the ordinance would declare the monuments erected and maintained to honor Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, the Battle of Liberty Place, and PGT Beauregard nuisances; revoke any dedication of the Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee Monuments; and remove the monuments from outdoor public display.
In other business, the Council supported HIV/AIDS Awareness efforts and received a presentation from NASA Michoud Assembly Facility Director Bobby Watkins.
National Anthem Performed by Eisenhower Elementary Steel Drum Band
|The Eisenhower Elementary Steel Drum Band performing the National Anthem before the Council|
Prior to the start of the Regular Council Meeting, the Steel Drum Band from Eisenhower Elementary School in District "C" performed the National Anthem. After the National Anthem, the band performed two more songs, including a steel drum rendition of Louis Armstrong's famous "What a Wonderful World."
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "I am thrilled to invite the Eisenhower Elementary Steel Drum Band to play the National Anthem today at the City Council meeting. I'd like to thank Richard Bates and Dr. Tamer Acikalin at Young Audiences, which supports programs like this at Eisenhower and other schools throughout the City, for coordinating this special performance."
Adopted 2016 Capital & Operating Budgets, Ad Valorem Taxes
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,989 providing a Capital Budget for 2016, Ordinance Calendar No. 30,990 providing an Operating Budget of Revenues for 2016, and Ordinance Calendar No. 30,991 providing an Operating Budget of Expenditures for 2016. The Capital Budget includes $484.3 million of potential spending, and the Operating Budget totals $1.025 billion, of which $601.6 million makes up the General Fund.
The Council received the Mayor's proposed budget on October 15th and conducted a series of budget hearings that included presentations from representatives of City Departments, the Mayor's Office, the Courts, the District Attorney, the Sheriff's Office, outside agencies, boards and commissions. At the November 19, 2015 Regular Council Meeting, the Council discussed and adopted amendments to the 2016 Budget.
In other budgetary matters, the Council passed a series of ordinances to levy ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of all property subject to taxation in the City of New Orleans and to levy ad valorem taxes on property located in the City's special security districts for the year 2016. This action by the Council is an annual requirement as a part of the budgeting process. The Council also passed Ordinance Calendar No. 30,988, relative to the levy of fees on property in special security and improvement tax districts in the City for the year 2016.
Set 2016 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 31,076, authored by Councilmembers Williams, Head, Guidry, Cantrell, Ramsey, Brossett and Gray, to amend the City Code to establish the 2016 Mardi Gras parade schedule. The 2016 Mardi Gras parade schedule is available to view here, with parade permits being issued by the Department of Finance in accordance with Chapter 34, Section 34-4 of the City Code.
Supported HIV/AIDS Awareness Efforts
The Council recognized by proclamation World AIDS Day, Tuesday, December 1, and the 2nd Annual New Orleans AIDS Awareness week, Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 4. Presenting before the Council were representatives of the New Orleans Department of Public Health and The Change Coalition, a coalition of HIV/AIDS non-profits and government entities working together to advocate on behalf of individuals living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.
|Health Department Deputy Director Alicia Prevost presents before the Council|
New Orleans Health Department Deputy Director Alicia Prevost outlined the events taking place throughout the City in conjunction with New Orleans AIDS Awareness Week, as well as information about efforts to fight the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS through intelligent, factual and non-judgmental community discourse.
Council Vice President Head said, "New Orleans has many available resources to care for and treat the symptoms of HIV and AIDS. By bringing this issue before the Council today, I am hopeful that more New Orleanians living with HIV/AIDS will seek and receive the care they deserve."
Received Presentation from NASA Michoud Assembly Facility Director
The Council received a presentation from NASA Michoud Assembly Facility Director Bobby Watkins regarding recent developments and projects at the facility. Presenting before the Council, Watkins highlighted the historical importance New Orleans and the Michoud Assembly Facility have played in the United States' journey into space. Watkins also highlighted how Michoud will soon play a key role in developing and assembling the heavy lift rockets that will take Americans on future missions to Mars.
|Michoud Assembly Facility Director Bobby Watkins presents before the Council|
Watkins outlined how the 832 acre facility not only houses NASA operations, but eight other federal agencies including the USDA and Coast Guard, as well as multiple private commercial tenants. Overall, the Michoud Assembly Facility generates approximately 5,400 jobs in Louisiana and Mississippi, with a regional impact of $850 million.
In closing, Watkins emphasized his desire to strengthen the facility's relationship with the City to increase awareness of the existence and importance of the facility among citizens of New Orleans as well as expand job opportunities for New Orleans students and professionals.
District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "The Michoud Assembly Facility is a crucial anchor for New Orleans East and an important resource for the City of New Orleans. We appreciate the briefing and update provided to the Council on the facility's operations."