November 01, 2018
City Council Chamber
10 a.m., Council Chamber
View Agenda (PDF)
NEW ORLEANS - At today's regularly scheduled City Council meeting, the Council received the proposed 2019 Capital and Operating Budgets from Mayor LaToya Cantrell, approved an ordinance to rededicate the pontchartrain Park Playground, approved a millage adjustment to fund parks and recreation, adopted a resolution to declare October Youth Justice Action Month, passed an ordinance to promote diversity within the Economic Development Advisory Committee, and adopted a resolution recognizing the important work of the New Orleans Career Center (NOCC).
Additionally, the Council heard special presentations from the World Trade Center of New Orleans, the New Orleans Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Krewe Eyewear, and recognized Jade Colin, the youngest black woman to own a McDonald's franchise in company history.
The Council with 28-year-old McDonald's owner Jade Colin
Mayor Cantrell Presents Proposed 2019 City Budgets
At today's meeting, Mayor LaToya Cantrell and members of her administration presented the proposed 2019 Capital and Operating Budgets for the City of New Orleans. The Council will hold public hearings on the Mayor's proposed budget starting on November 9, and continuing the following week from November 12 - 16.
Per today's presentation, the Mayor proposed that the City begin phasing out 20 of the 31 non-school zone cameras and turn off cameras in school zones outside of school hours in 2019. The policy decision to reduce the number of red light cameras will result in an estimated reduction of $4 to $6 million in revenue from this source. However, according to the Mayor, the city can expect to see an increase in traffic stops by NOPD officers, partially offsetting the reduction.
Mayor Cantrell further recommends increases in department budgets from the General Fund with $36.4 million in additional funding to be distributed amongst 20 departments for specific initiatives in 2019.
The presentation also highlighted several key increases in expenditures for 2019. Those included additional police recruits, adjustments to pension obligations and milage payouts for NOPD due to pay raises that were instituted in the beginning of 2018, pay raises for classified employees, funding to support the CleanUpNOLA initiative, additional personnel for New Orleans EMS, funding for new Mayoral initiatives such as the Office of Transportation, Office of Youth and Families, and Office of Utilities, and additional personnel and funding to the Coroner's Office for opioid case services.
"As Chairman of the Budget, Audit and BOR Committee, I am proud to welcome my former colleague Mayor Cantrell back to the Council Chamber to present the 2019 Operating and Capital Budgets," said Councilmember Jared Brossett. "The residents of New Orleans deserve efficient and sustainable government services, and this begins with the budget process."
To view the 2019 budget proposal in its entirety, click here.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and administration officials presenting to the Council
Council Approves Use Restrictions and Standards in Lakeview
The Council approved an amendment to the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) for additional use restrictions and use standards to the "Middle Harrison Use Restriction Overlay District" in Lakeview. Additional use restrictions and standards were incorporated into the existing overlay, including the number and spacing of restaurants, delivery and trash collection hours, operating hours, and limitations on signage.
"What you're seeing here is the very best of citizenship," said District "A" Councilmember Joe Giarrusso. "This represents a compromise between the neighbors, neighborhood association, and myself, and it reflects the hard work that's been done by all the involved parties."
October Declared Youth Justice Action Month
The Council adopted a resolution to declare the month of October as Youth Justice Action Month in New Orleans. Prior to the vote, the Council welcomed three local teenagers who presented on the critical importance of increased support services for New Orleans youth to reduce the alarmingly large percentage of African Americans in the juvenile justice system.
Per the resolution, Youth Justice Action Month will be a time to celebrate, take direction from youth, and reaffirm the Council's commitment to the well-being and safety of New Orleans communities.
"I've said it a thousand times before, and I'll probably say it a million times again, but we can and will never arrest our way out of crime," said District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks. "We have to invest the necessary resources into our young people to get them off the wrong path early on before it's too late. I applaud each and every one of you for the work that you're doing, and we're going to be right there with you every step of the way."
Local high school students (from L to R) Cameron, Arselle, and Charm speaking to the Council
Council Approves First Step Toward Millage Adjustment to Fund Parks and Recreation
The Council passed a motion announcing its intention to authorize an election on May 4, 2019, at which voters will be asked to approve authorizing the Council to levy a special ad valorem tax for the purpose of constructing, improving, maintaining and operating parks and recreational facilities. If approved, this "rebalancing of the millage rates" to improve the city's park system and public spaces would not result in any tax increase or additional cost to residents.
The proposed measure would readjust the millage rates for Audubon Park, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and the Department of Parks and Parkways, while also ensuring dedicated local funding to City Park for the first time in the city's history. Audubon's proposed adjusted millage rate would be reduced to 1.95 mils from its current 3.31 mils, or decrease from approximately $10.92 million down to $6.59 million; NORDC adjusted millage would be increased to 1.95 mils from 1.5 mils, or from $4.95 million to $6.59 million; and Parks and Parkways' millage would be increased to 1.8 mils from its current rate of 1.5 mills. These adjustments would also allow City Park to have a millage of .61 mils (nearly $2.06 million), all without an overall increase in the millage rate for these parks and recreation-related services.
Referred to by the Council as an "integration of resources, assets, and people," the ballot initiative would establish an inter-agency parks and recreation coordinating group comprised of the four park agencies to ensure close coordination of future capital and programming investments, and avoid duplication and overlap. To read Motion M-18-489 in its entirety, click here.
New Orleans Career Center Recognized for Transforming Lives of Local High School Students
The Council adopted a resolution recognizing the important work of the NOCC in providing opportunities for job growth and stability for local youth. Since its founding in 2017, the NOCC has strived to educate the youth of New Orleans, train them for post-secondary placement and help them develop long-lasting professional relationships. The half-day nonprofit career center and technical education training program provides opportunities for public high school students to earn industry-based credentials in high demand industries across the region.
NOCC has partnered with seven New Orleans high schools and hopes to train more than 1,000 students per year in the future and expand its programming to health sciences, skilled crafts, software development, water management, hospitality and culinary arts. For more information, visit nolacc.org.
Pontchartrain Park Playground Rededicated in Honor of McBurnett James Knox
The Council welcomed former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial alongside family and friends of the late McBurnett James Knox, Jr. in support of today's resolution to rededicate the Pontchartrain Park Playground as the "Pontchartrain Park McBurnett Knox Playground." McBurnett James Knox, Jr., also known as "Coach Mac," was a fierce and lifelong advocate for New Orleans youth until his passing in May 2015.
"Mac Knox taught us teamwork, leadership and character," said former Mayor of New Orleans Marc Morial. "He shaped us as boys who understood that books came before balls and that win or lose, we did so as a team. He sacrificed so much and gave so much to ensure future generations boys and girls in New Orleans would have the opportunities they deserved. I'm deeply grateful to all of you on the Council for spearheading this effort and providing Coach Mac with this well-deserved recognition."
The newly dedicated Pontchartrain Park McBurnett Knox Playground, located at 6500 Press Dr. in the Gentilly neighborhood, will ensure Coach Mac's great life and legacy lives on in the City of New Orleans. It will also serve as a reminder to those who come after him to continue his important work and never stop fighting for the city's youth.
"Coach Mac has made a huge positive impact on countless young men's lives, including my own," said Council President Williams. "His principles of discipline, character, and strength of spirit have made better men out of so many young boys. We miss him, and we so desperately need his spirit at all of our parks today. This rededication in honor of Coach Mac is timely and necessary."
Members of the Council with Marc Morial and family and friends of McBurnett James Knox, Jr.
Council Approves Measure to Promote Diversity Within Economic Development Advisory Committee
The Council approved an ordinance to amend the City Code regarding appointments to the Economic Development Advisory Committee to promote diversity in community representation. The ordinance increases the number of nominating entities, augments requisite qualifications of membership, and establishes a schedule for submittal of recommendations to the Mayor and the Council.
The Economic Development Advisory Committee will be comprised of 11 members and will include appointments by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, the Collaborative Community Initiative, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, and the Asian Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana to ensure all groups within the city are represented. Each entity will submit a list of three nominees to the Mayor, who will then appoint at least one of which pending approval of the Council.