Government & Politics

Live blog: Landrieu brings budget meeting to Central City on day 3 for District B

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will hold the third of five town hall meetings on city finances and the 2016 budget Wednesday evening in City Council District B, at Kipp Central City Academy. District B includes Central City, the Central Business District, Broadmoor, the Garden District, the Irish Channel and part of Mid-City.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m.; The Lens will live-blog it here.

The meetings are designed to allow the public to weigh in on how Landrieu should spend public dollars in 2016.

At Tuesday’s meeting in Algiers, an organized group of residents from Algiers Point demanded answers not only from the mayor but from their council member, District C Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey. The group wanted to know why Ramsey recently requested that a strip of riverfront green space in the neighborhood be rezoned for maritime industrial use. The recently passed comprehensive zoning ordinance already allows for building heights above what the neighborhood association requested in another section of its riverfront. Many opponents of the changes carried signs saying the riverfront is “Not for Sale.”

“In the CZO, the Algiers Point Association asked for height limitations of 40 feet. Why, Council member Ramsey, did you vote for heights of up to 110 feet?” asked Michael Verderosa, a member of the neighborhood association.

Ramsey said the city’s 2010 Master Plan, a City Council-approved framework for the CZO, called for industrial zoning at the site. Though she’s personally not in favor of the change, she made the request because she wants the CZO to be in line with the Master Plan.

On the height issue, Landrieu told the audience that New Orleans has become one of the most active real estate markets in the country, and, as in many other cities, riverfront property is the most valuable land.

“So there have to be rules about what can be built in and around there,” he said. “Let me tell you what’s not going to happen. We can’t have people who live close to the river who say ‘No one else can live in this neighborhood because I’ve got mine and nobody else can have theirs.’”

Staff and supporters of the Orleans Public Defenders Office, which faces a $1 million deficit, continued their aggressive push for city funds at Tuesday’s meeting. Landrieu has argued that funding the office is a state responsibility, but on Tuesday, one public defender who spoke said the city sets local criminal justice policy and the deficit would lead to a crisis for the city of New Orleans.

Landrieu pointed out that the city has allocated the office $1.5 million.

“You can’t say we haven’t given you any money,” he said.

Responding to repeated demands that the city conduct a “disparity study” on city contracting to determine whether gaps exist in minority participation, Landrieu said such a study would be expensive, about $1 million, and could take years. Landrieu called for such a study in a 2010 executive order, but the city has yet to deliver one.

Landrieu said the city may be able to secure foundation funding for the work. A disparity study, he said, “isn’t an unreasonable request.”


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About Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado covers the city of New Orleans and other local government bodies. He previously worked for Gambit, New Orleans’ alternative newsweekly, where he covered city hall, criminal justice and public health. Before moving to New Orleans, he covered state and local government for weekly papers in Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.

  • nickelndime

    Has Mitch da Mayor shown up in da 7th Ward yet? Oh, hot damn, WE might have missed him – WE are not sure if it were Gentilly Woods dat covered our neighborhood. OH, my bad! It ain’t called “Gentilly Woods” no more since da “footprint” got expandex in DA MASSA PLAN.
    07/16/2015 1:29 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    If I was you, which you ain’t, obviously, and can’t be, but you all, et al. who is monitoring these sites. and others, you might want to start calling for “mandatory drug testing” of City of New Orleans officials and for what Eric Clapton calls quite obviously COCAINE. How should that make you feel, New Orleans? You elected them. Gawd, WE hope you are better than them. Master Plan(s)!!! 07/16/2015 1:45 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    Jimmy was drinking and he was a high-level “functioning” member of the OPSB, until later in life, he “lifted” Mr. Nickel’s (expletive deleted) stuff and threw it in his pool (he thinks – can’t remember for sure). Will you (residents of New Orleans) – just for a moment – think about the gawdawful mis-steps and mistakes that can happen when…what Eric Clapton sings becomes true. “If you wanna hang out, you gotta take HER out…”

    Tobacco products – that’s for the rest of you have little or no money. City officials live “large.” They ain’t smoking – hence the call for ordinances and the threat of second-hand smoke. Ha!

    Who allowed Mitch and the rest of the elected officials in this city to become larger and more important than the residents!?
    07/16/2015 3:31 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    Actually, yo’ chances of being killed on the streets of New Orleans, in a freak accident (hit-and-run, shootings, stabbings, and the like) are greater and statistically significant, than being killed by second-hand smoke inside a dive bar in the city proper that was doing business before LaToya Cantrell (please gawd – let me be mayor!) and the City Council got ahold of it.
    Please gawd – let US die peaceful, non-violent deaths ..preferably outside of Nadine Ramsey’s District. Thank you, Gawd. WE (ASP and I) promise to be good – Garden of Eden good.
    07/16/2015 4:27 AM DST USA

  • rogerclegg

    A “disparity study” would in fact be a waste of money — and it’s a bad idea anyway, since the only reason for it is to try to justify the unjustifiable, namely racial preferences in the city’s contracting.
    Why do race or ethnicity need to be considered at all in
    deciding who gets awarded a contract?
    It’s good to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that
    bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets
    discriminated against because of skin color or national origin. But that means no preferences because of skin
    color or what country your ancestors came from either–whether it’s labeled a
    “set-aside,” a “quota,” or a “goal,” since they
    all end up amounting to the same thing.
    Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it breeds corruption and
    otherwise costs the taxpayers and businesses money to award a contract to
    someone other than the lowest bidder; and it’s almost always illegal—indeed,
    unconstitutional—to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and this model brief: ). Those who insist on engaging in such
    discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.

  • nickelndime

    Mitch loves “poverty.” It brings federal money into the city – just as long as it (poverty) is contained and does not show up in the Vieux Carre, the CBD, or the Garden District. Otherwise, business as usual. Give a good strong handshake, Mitch, and look ’em in the eye. Just hope they don’t know what you really think about them. They ain’t got a chance – and you know it. 07/18/2015 2:03 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    What actually happened to the St. Roch property that Karen wrote about (and was removed from public auction) as of December 2013? This is DEJAVU all over again. Jes us’ H. Hispanic Holy Christ – WE are waiting for the Second Coming – which would put ASP and me as Gentiles. WE is coming – slow but sure.
    07/18/2018 3:25 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    Good for you, “rogerclegg.” “The pen is mightier…,” but in these times, them who can pay attention may be more important than them who can “write.” And that is why THE LENS is so gaddam important. WE support it. ASP is out of his bullet-proof “sock vest,” and he is saying, “Way to go.” TAIL UP!
    07/18/2015 3:33 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    Nevermind – the St. Roch property is in the news again – New Orleans actor, Wendell Pierce, tweeting about the Faubourg Association and Lisa Suarez trying to take his property. McCusker from THE ADVOCATE is looking for Wendell…The 2013 THE LENS article thread is closed, but it looks like something is popping again.
    07/18/2015 8:36 PM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    WE – ASP and I, are greatful – oh, dat was ASP! …. are grateful.,, that THE LENS affords individuals multiple opportunities to express their opinions – some of which are free-spirited and “out of the box.” And sometimes, it is painful, but Steve (yeah, da 2 of dem) gots B(xxxx)z. U gots it, Karen, et al. 07/19/2015 3:36 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    ASP has been “brainstorming” all day – I, “nickelndime,” couldn’t stop him. ASP has a “plan” to get millions of dollars sent to THE LENS. He “can’t stand” (literally and figuratively) Gates, neither one of them, and their foundation, among others, so he is going to “tap” a fellow SNAKE. Hahaha! Oh, that’s a good one, ASP! Now, let’s see who was born in THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE!
    07/20/2015 2:26 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    ASP has a “ouija” board. YES YES French German. ASP says it’s going to work out. ASP is “fielding” questions, so I do not know who my ASP is responding to – or, to whom my ASP (that’s my pet snake ASP) is responding.
    07/20/2015 2:31 AM DST USA

  • nickelndime

    Gates, at least one of them, unbeknownst to his other – not better .13, is not into procreation. However, Gates is “into” cloning and “other things.” Yo’ boy thinks he is either going to live forever or die trying.
    07/20/2015 2:3$ AM D$T U$A