Regular Meeting

September 06, 2018 

City Council Chamber

10 a.m., Council Chamber

At today's regular City Council meeting, the Council expressed its intent to call an election for the purpose of authorizing a millage to support senior services, approved a motion to assess the general awareness and knowledge of the City's sexual harassment policies, adopted a resolution expressing its strong commitment to equal pay for equal work, approved a measure to update the membership qualifications for the Audubon Commission, and passed an ordinance relative to unsecured bicycles and motorized novelty vehicles that impede the proper use of the rights-of-ways.

First Step for New Millage to Support Senior Services

The Council unanimously approved a motion (M-18-388) announcing its intention to call an election at which the voters of New Orleans will be asked to approve authorizing a special millage to support services for senior citizens.
"This is so long overdue," said Council President Williams. "Our seniors have stretched a dime and made the most out of a shoestring budget for a very long time. We can no longer push this off to deal with other seemingly more pressing matters. The values, discipline and character exemplified by our senior citizens is something we should all strive to live up to and emulate. If that were the case, we wouldn't have half the issues we have here in the city today. I believe the people of New Orleans will do the right thing and step up for our seniors next March because a vote for our seniors is a vote for all of us."
At the election on March 30, 2019, New Orleanians will be asked to authorize the Council to annually levy a special ad valorem tax not to exceed two mills upon all taxable property situated within the boundaries of the City of New Orleans, effective Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2024.
"This is about finally prioritizing what's important to us here in New Orleans," said District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett, who co-authored the motion alongside Council President Jason Williams. "This issue is so important, and the allocation of our budget is not reflecting that. We have an obligation to look holistically at all of our millages to make sure we have the right prioritization, and that being said, no one is more deserving than our seniors."
Councilmember Williams explained that the motion unanimously adopted today ensures that the millage would only go directly to senior services and that the homestead exemption would apply - meaning the first $75,000 of the home's value would be exempt to minimize the burden for the city's poor and ensure they aren't over-taxed.


Council Directs Administration to Study Sexual Harassment Policies and Practices

The Council approved a motion directing the Chief Administrative Office to execute a mandatory sexual harassment climate survey to assess the general awareness and knowledge of the City's sexual harassment policies. This measure represents ongoing efforts by the Council to investigate, assess and remedy sexual harassment issues within City Hall in response to reports that surfaced earlier this year.
On June 7, 2018, the Council unanimously approved an initiative of Council Vice President Helena Moreno becoming the first city government in Louisiana to adopt a comprehensive sexual harassment policy ordinance. With that ordinance (No. 32,289), an investigation is now mandatory anytime a municipal employee reports a claim of sexual misconduct. Today's motion is a critical follow-up to the previous legislation and will serve to identify employee needs, gaps in policy awareness, and workplace expectations.
"I remain as committed as ever to continue to lead the charge to enact the highest standards and ensure our city government is one of the safest, most welcoming workplaces in the country," said Councilmember Moreno. "It is imperative that we gain an understanding of what exactly is going on here at City Hall - the public and our colleagues deserve it."


Council Affirms Commitment to Equal Pay

The Council adopted a resolution expressing its strong commitment to equal pay for equal work, and formally directing the Civil Service Commission to execute a Pay Disparity Study. The resolution is a response to recent data including a 2014 Tulane University study that showed the wage gap between male and female full-time employees in New Orleans is approximately 21 percent, or $9,567 less income for women and families in the city each year.The study also showed that families with female heads-of-household had an income of 48 percent less than families overall.
Per the resolution, the Pay Disparity Study should include the following: a review of the City's job classification system, an analysis of actual wages paid, a review of job categories and pay grades for comparable worth, recommendations on ways to address inequities, and proposed processes for employees to seek recourse within city government when pay discrimination is suspected.
By ensuring equal pay for equal work, New Orleans can help create a fairer system in which all are empowered to reach their full potential and are properly rewarded for the work they do each day. By tackling the issue of discriminatory pay systems within city government, the Council hopes to increase efficiency and productivity by attracting the most qualified employees, reducing turnover and fostering an environment of true gender equity.


Bicycle and Motorized Novelty Vehicles Ordinance Passes

The Council passed an ordinance to authorize the Department of Safety and Permits to immediately remove and store unsecured bicycles and motorized novelty vehicles that impede the proper use of the rights-of-ways, establish permits and fees, clarify proper parking and provide requirements and limitations on the operation and storage of rental products.
Ordinance No. 32,292 relative to businesses offering for rental motorized novelty vehicles has been deferred until the next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 20.

Measure Approved to Diversify Audubon Commission

At the recommendation of the Governmental Affairs Committee, the Council passed an ordinance to amend the City Code to clarify the membership qualifications for appointments to the Audubon Commission and provide for appointments to vacancies for unexpired terms. To read the ordinance in its entirety, click here.

Created on: 6/27/2018 2:48:00 PM | Last updated: 12/27/2018 1:10:02 PM


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