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City Council Regular Meeting News Summary September 14, 2017

September 14, 2017

NEW ORLEANS - Today, the New Orleans City Council approved two measures to address the City's long list of unpaid judgments, passed a resolution urging the president of the United States to reconsider his decision on DACA, approved bridge rehabilitation and replacement measures, and established the annual celebration of Geaux Blue NOLA Day in the month of September.

Additionally, the Council approved an ordinance to allow the New Orleans Police Department to participate in the Criminal Intelligence Center located in Jefferson Parish, heard a presentation from the Martinet Society in celebration of its 60th Anniversary and recognized the Historic Faubourg Treme Association in light of the upcoming 3rd Annual Tremé Fall Festival.



Council Approves Measures to Address Backlog of Unpaid City Judgments

The Council approved Ordinance No. 32,010 to establish a Judgment Fund to dedicate certain funds for the payment of legal judgments rendered against the City.

In a separate resolution, the Council granted preliminary approval for the issuance of up to $10 million of Taxable Limited Tax Bonds in order to service a large portion of these outstanding unpaid judgments.

"I thank you all for handling all the technical aspects for what I believe is overdue and what is our moral imperative to do," said Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams. "History has told us that these judgments will be a recurring expense and we have to ensure to our citizens that we will be legally and morally responsible for our obligations. I think this is a step in the right direction for this Council in not continuing to kick a can down the road just because the law allows us to do so. We've seen those results for over a decade with the S&WB and in other areas, so this is one area where we can step up and finally do the right thing."

District "A" Councilmember Susan Guidry thanked Councilmember Williams for taking the necessary steps to bring this ordinance to the Council, noting that she and Councilmember Head have been pushing the City for several years to work more quickly and efficiently in paying these debts.

In Louisiana, state courts are unable to seize assets from other government bodies, therefore, there is no concrete way of forcing payment. As a result, the City holds a long list of unpaid settlements, which over time, have amounted to approximately $40 million.

"The City has long ignored paying judgments due to a loophole in state law," said District "D" Councilmember Brossett. "If the City expects citizens to pay their debts, we must pay ours as well. As we prioritize critical services throughout our government, we must also create a sustainable pathway to pay the judgments we owe. I am proud to support this measure to ensure our people finally receive the money they deserve."

 

Resolution Affirming Council Support of DACA Passes

The Council voted to pass a resolution urging the president of the United States to reconsider ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. In the event that the president is unwilling to do so, the resolution urges Congress to support the passage of legislation, which would grant permanent legal status and paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children.

"I'm very excited to bring this before my colleagues today," said District "B" Councilmember Cantrell. "We should be doing everything in our power to keep our best and our brightest, not push them away. Eliminating DACA punishes some of the most hard-working and extraordinary people our nation has to offer. This resolution lets our dreamers know that we support them, we appreciate them, and we admire their bravery."

 

Council Declares September as Annual Celebration of Geaux Blue NOLA Day

The Council voted to establish the annual celebration of Geaux Blue NOLA Day in the month of September to honor the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). This year's celebration took place on Wednesday, September 13, as part of an annual day of recognition of the vital importance of the NOPD to the well-being of the community.

The specific date for future Geaux Blue NOLA Days will be set each year to accommodate the numerous events, such as Geaux Blue Family Day, that are dependent upon donations of space and volunteers. However, it will always take place around September 11 to recognize both NOPD officers and first responders in remembrance of that day.

Councilmember Guidry gave a special note of recognition to Mahalia Jackson Elementary School for its outstanding display of support on Wednesday. Students signed banners, wrote letters and sang songs for 2nd and 6th district officers, including NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. The officers were treated to a special breakfast and received gifts and plaques from the students and staff.

Geaux Blue NOLA Day concluded with a memorial ceremony in front of police headquarters where the names of five fallen officers were added to the memorial wall.

Councilmember Guidry thanked the numerous community partners and sponsors that contributed to the success of the second annual Geaux Blue NOLA Day and directed everyone to check the official hashtag, #GeauxBlueNOLA2017, to see all the great ways the City went blue to show love and support for the NOPD.

 

New Orleans Police Department to Participate in Jefferson Parish Criminal Intelligence Center

The Council passed an ordinance to authorize the Mayor of the City of New Orleans to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City and the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, to formally allow the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) to participate in a Criminal Intelligence Center operated by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff. This measure further enhances the effectiveness of the NOPD in keeping the people of New Orleans and surrounding areas safe.

The Center, which has been operating since 2015, houses a huge database that with the ability to immediately make connections between suspects and phone numbers, addresses, known associates, bunk mates in prison, co-workers and a host of other associations. In addition, the software can search for types or colors of vehicles or partial license plate numbers from Jefferson Parish's strategically placed 60 License Plate Recognition cameras.

 

Council Approves Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Measures

The Council approved Ordinance No. 32,008 to authorize the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City and the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to allow and facilitate bridge replacement or rehabilitation as approved by the DOTD and Federal Highway Administration.

Along with this ordinance, the Council passed a resolution (R-17-487certifying specific information to the LADOTD.

 

 
  
 

Council Approves Measures to Address Backlog of Unpaid City Judgments

Resolution Affirming Council Support of DACA Passes

Council Declares September as Annual Celebration of Geaux Blue NOLA Day

New Orleans Police Department to Participate in Jefferson Parish Criminal Intelligence Center

Council Approves Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Measures

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Information presented by the New Orleans City CouncilDavid S. Gavlinski, Interim Chief of StaffCouncil Information (504) 658-1000Clerk of Council (504) 658-1085
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