Regular Meeting

December 01, 2017 

City Council Chamber

City Council Meeting News Summary December 1, 2017

At today's regularly scheduled City Council meeting, the Council adopted 2018 budget matters, including the 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets and regular agenda items carried over from Thursday's meeting. The Council passed a pension reform package for municipal employees, approved budget adjustments to various departments to cover overages incurred during 2017, and authorized an agreement with the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to provide funding, marketing, planning and support for an international marketing plan.

Council Adopts 2018 Budgets

The Council adopted the Operating and Capital Budgets for the year 2018 in addition to the following related 2018 budget instruments:
  • As well as the DDD's 2018 Plan to provide additional capital, special services facilities and/or improvements for the DDD for the year 2018
  • Downtown Development District (DDD) 2018 Budget and Work Plan
  • 2018 Capital Budget
  • 2018 Operating Budget of Revenues
  • 2018 Operating Budget of Expenditures
  • New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation's (NOTMC) Promotion Program
  • Capital Budget for 2018 projects to be funded for the remaining four years of the Five Year Capital Program (2019 - 2022)
  • Operating Budget of the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB)
  • Operating Budget of the Delgado-Albania Plantation Commission
  • Operating Budget of the French Market Corporation
  • Operating Budget of the New Orleans Municipal Yacht Harbor Management Corporation (MYHMC)
  • Operating Budget of the Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD)
  • Operating Budget of the New Orleans Building Corporation (NOBC)
  • Operating Budget of the Algiers Development District (ADD)
  • City Code amendment to increase notary fees
  • Levy of fees on property located in special security and improvement taxing districts
"Today, my colleagues and I approved a balanced 2018 budget that is focused on implementing the priorities that are most important to the citizens of New Orleans," said District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett. "Our focus continues to be on critical services, public safety, infrastructure, quality of life improvements, and living wages for government employees. Additionally, this Council is making a significant investment in the children of New Orleans as we are allocating funds for an early childhood education pilot program. Though not perfect, the 2018 budget will adequately fund initiatives that will continue to move our city in the right direction." Today's adoption represents this Council and this Administration's last collaboration in balancing the City's budget. City officials who presented today thanked the Council for their cooperation and hard work over the years. "The 2018 budget reflects eight years of work by the Mayor and Council to greatly reduce long-term debt, to cut waste and to improve the City's fiscal health," said District "A" Councilmember Susan Guidry. "I am proud of the work that we have done, which is reflected in the best credit rating the city has ever had, a positive general fund balance and a dedicated rainy day fund. This healthy fiscal position allows the Council to add to the proposed budget increased funding for catch basin cleaning and repair, increases in salaries for city employees and sheriff's deputies, and first-time funding of a pilot for early childhood education and of youth intervention services connected with the juvenile justice reform measure recently passed by our Council."

Council Approves Pension Reform Municipal Employees

The Council passed an ordinance authored by Councilmember-At-Large Stacy Head to amend the Code of the City relative to the New Orleans Municipal Employees' Retirement System (NOMERS).

The priorities for the reform included the following:
  • A pension system to provide a reasonable retirement income for current employees
  • and attract quality applicants to city employment.
  • Ensure that the system is adequately funded for current and future employees and
  • avoid drastic benefit reductions in the future.
  • Immediately reduce the number of tax dollars being poured into the pension system.
  • Use savings for other budget priorities.

NOMERS and other legacy pension programs cost the City over $116 Million in tax dollars, which represents 19 percent of the City's general fund. The system is currently underfunded at 68.2 percent, which represents a decrease from over 100 percent about ten years ago.

This agreed-upon reform proposal was based on research by the Bureau of Governmental Research Supported by Business Council, Forward New Orleans Coalition, Citizens for a Better New Orleans, Vieux Carre Property Owners and Residents Association.

"This is another step toward a rational set of benefits with enhanced opportunity for upward development for city employees," said Councilmember Head. "This will ensure that the pension is healthy enough to meet the needs of this generation and generations to come."

Measure Passed to Support Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) International Marketing Plan

The Council authorized the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the City and the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to provide funding, marketing, planning and support for an international tourism marketing plan.

This plan will assist in the opening of the new Louis Armstrong International Airport terminal, which will dramatically increase visitation to the City through a combination of more flights, larger aircraft, and new destinations. District "D" Councilmember Brossett has been instrumental in the airport's recent expansion from the launch of British Airways' nonstop flights between London and New Orleans to the approval of the $993 million terminal expansion project.

Created on: 6/21/2018 11:28:43 AM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 11:28:43 AM


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