City Planning Commission Appointed Bob Rivers as New CPC Executive Director

At the end of their Tuesday, October 22 meeting, City Planning Commission voted unanimously to appoint Bob Rivers as the new Executive Director of the City Planning Commission. Bob Rivers is currently working as a lawyer in the City Attorney’s Office and was rumored as the front runner after the City Planning Commission fired former Director Yolanda Rodriguez on June 11. About a week after Ms Rodriguez was fired, City Planning Commission held a meeting to consider an interim or full-time Executive Director. City Planning Commission went into Executive Session and twice called Mr Rivers into the room.

 

City Planning did not make an interim or full-time appointment that day. Instead they launched into a 4-month process to do a national search for a new Executive Director. This “national search” resulted in the  job being posted on the American Planning Association’s and American Institute of Architects’ websites for approximately a week before the job search was closed on July 22 (although most of those websites listed the job closing on July 19). The search did result in a few dozen qualified candidates both locally and nationally.

 

City Planning Commission’s Executive Director Search Committee met a number of times between June 11 and October 22. The committee met only to discuss the process. When it came time to interview the candidates, only a couple of committee members were in the interview, so it did not have to be done at an official committee meeting. Phone interviews were done at first, with 3 candidates shortlisted and brought to New Orleans for in-person interviews. Planning Commission approved spending up to $5,000 to bring those candidates to New Orleans interviews. After that, any discussion of the candidates was done in executive session to ensure that none of this information became public.

 

On October 22, the appointment of an Executive Director was on agenda for the City Planning Commission Operational Committee. The Planning Commission was in Executive Session for most of that meeting. When they came out of Executive Session a motion was made to defer the appointment of the new Executive Director. Commission Chair Kelly Brown stated that she was opposed to deferring the appoint. When the votes we cast, 5 were in favor of deferral and 3 were opposed (Commissioners Brown, Craig Mitchell, and I believe Joe Williams). Commission Lois Carlos-Lawrence was absent.

 

The Commission then went to the full City Planning Commission meeting that is held in City Council Chambers. Throughout the approximately 1.5 hour meeting, different commissioners at different times left the Council Chambers to go into the backroom. This is evident in the Commission votes through the meeting, as 5 of the 8 Commissioners at the meeting were absent for at least one vote during the course of the meeting. As the meeting was about to finish up, there was about a 10 minute recess.

 

About an hour and a half after voting to defer the appointment of a new Executive Director, the City Planning Commission had a change of heart. They voted unanimously to add the appointment of a new ED to the agenda. Commission Kyle Wedberg then made a motion to appoint Bob Rivers as the new Executive Director and to enter into negotiations with him, and it was seconded by Commissioner Nolan Marshall III. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved 8 to 0. Commissioner Carlos-Lawrence was absent. Video of this appointment is available at around the 1:22 mark. It is unclear at this time the results on the negotiation and when Bob Rivers will start as Executive Director.

 

 

Come out this Weekend for BBQ Contest and Battle of the Bands Fundraiser

On Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, Pontchartrain Landing will host the Crescent City BBQ Cook-off. As part of this event, the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association is hosting a Jambalaya Cooking Contest and a Battle of Bands. The Jambalaya competition will take place from 4 to 10pm on Friday, November 1. From noon to 4:30pm on Saturday, November 2, GCIA will host the Battle of Bands, were people will compete for a recording session and CD protection provided by Music Shed Studios.

 

These events will all take place at Pontchartrain Landing, which is located on the Gentilly waterfront along the Industrial Canal at 6001 France Road. Admission for these events is $5 per day or $8 for the weekend for individuals and $12 per day or $18 for the weekend for a family of four. For more information about these events or how to compete, please email gcianola@gmail.com or visit GCIA’s facebook page.

 

Here is more information on the weekend’s events:

BBQ & Battle of Bands Fundraiser

 

For more information on the Battle of Bands competition, please check out this flyer (Note: Battle of Bands submission has been extended to Wed, Oct 30):

Battle of the Bands

Public Leaders Fellowship seeks applicants by Mon, Nov 4

The Public Leaders Fellowship is a 7-month leadership training program that brings together diverse community members from throughout the Metro New Orleans area and prepares them for public leadership or enhances their current leadership skills. Fellows meet once a month for day-long sessions to discuss topics such as coalition building, the demographics and history of New Orleans, and more.
The Public Leaders Fellowship defines a Public Leader as any community leader, regardless of what demographic he or she is from, who is capable of engaging in a public, meaningful, and strategic manner for the overall improvement of the community. The Public Leaders Fellowship seeks to identify emerging and existing Public Leaders to provide them with the necessary tools to engage meaningfully into the civic life of Metro New Orleans.
Applications are being accepted now for inclusion into the Public Leaders Fellowship for the year 2013-2014. The deadline for accepting applications is Monday, October 21. For more information or for any questions, please contact Ronald Avila at Puentes New Orleans, 504-821-7228, or through e-mail, ronald@puentesno.org.

UPDATE: Deadline for submission of applications has been extended to November 4, 2013.

Public Leaders Fellowship 2013-14 Application Packet

Mayor Submitted Proposed 2014 Budget to City Council

At a special meeting on Tuesday, October 15, the Mayor submitted his proposed budget to City Council, who will adopt the final budget at their November 21 meeting. Between now and then, City Council will hold public hearings with all of the City departments and agencies that receive funding. You can view the department hearing schedule here, but keep an eye on the City Council Calendar because the departments’ hearing dates frequently change.

The Mayor’s Budget is actually two budgets, one for the City’s operating expenses (personnel, contacts, and supplies) and the other for capital projects (city buildings & infrastructure). The City’s proposed Operating Budget is $838 million, which includes $504 million from the general fund, which is discretionary money that the City can chose to spend how it wants (the rest of the money is from grants that must be used for an explicit purpose). The 2014 general fund budget is $9 million more than it was last year.

The other budget is the City’s Capital Budget. The City Planning Commission just approved the City’s 5-year and over $1 billion Capital Improvement Plan for 2014-2018, and the City Council will need to approved the Capital Budget for 2014. The 2014 Capital Budget is $247 million, and it includes funding for proposed projects like $153 million for road projects, $47 million for the airport, $20.3 million for a civic center at Charity Hospital (this is less than 10% of the total cost), $9.5 million for parks and recreation, and more for numerous other projects.

There has been some press coverage of the Mayor’s announcement, which get into more depth about the certain aspects of the budget like funding for (or lack of) the NOPD and OPP consent decrees, the fire fighters pensions, public safety funding, etc. Here are two items from The Lens, their live blog of the Mayor’s budget presentation and press conference and an article on lack of funding for the OPP consent decree. Here are summaries of the Mayor’s proposed 2014 budget from The Advocate and nola.com | TP.

Remember that the Mayor proposes the budget and the City Council adopts it, so their is an opportunity to give your input to City Council prior to November 21. At each of the department hearing, there is an opportunity to have your 2 minutes at the mic to speak about that department’s budget. City Council rarely make drastic changes to the budget, however, so they most adopt the budget that the Mayor proposes with maybe a million or two in changes. So it is unclear what impact your input would have on the budget.

We are working to bring a budgetary process to New Orleans, where people actually have a say in how part of the City’s budget is spent. Residents brainstorm project ideas, turn those ideas into proposal, vote on the proposal they want to fund, and the top projects are implemented. This process is call Participatory Budgeting (PB), and you can learn more about it by watching this short video. If you are want more information on how we can bring this to New Orleans, then check out the PB NOLA facebook page.

 

Diana Lewis Citizen Participation Awards Luncheon will be Thursday, November 7

Come celebrate civic engagement in New Orleans at the fourth annual Diana Lewis Citizen Participation Awards luncheon!  The luncheon will be Thursday, November 7, at noon at Generations Hall (310 Andrew Higgins Drive).  The keynote speaker will be Sonia Perez, President of AT&T Louisiana, and the honoress are the Vietnamese-American Young Leaders (VAYLA) and Joel Myers.  Tickets are $60 each ($50 for BBMLF Alumni), or $500 for a table of eight, with a program listing. 

 

Tickets may be purchased via PayPal, using the recipient email address contributions@cbno.org, or by sending a check to CBNO, 4902 Canal Street, Suite 300, NOLA 70119.  Please join us in recognizing these deserving community leaders, and in making a statement about the importance of citizen participation.

 

Ticket Purchase Form: Award Lunch Tables-Tickets 13

CPP Awards

City Council Hearings on 2014 Budget

CITY COUNCIL HEARINGS ON 2014 PROPOSED BUDGET

 

Here is information from the City Council website on their hearings on the Mayor’s proposed 2014 Budget. The Council will hold hearings on the Mayor’s proposed 2014 budget, beginning on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in the City Council Chamber. All hearing days begin at 10:00 a.m. Hearing dates for individual departments and agencies are:

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

TAX LEVY

SPECIAL TAX DISTRICTS PRESENTATION

REVENUE BUDGET

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

POLICE DEPARTMENT AND POLICE PENSION

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

FIRE DEPARTMENT AND FIRE PENSION

SAFETY & PERMITS DEPARTMENT

 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 28

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

MUNICIPAL COURT

TRAFFIC COURT

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

PRESENTATION – HOSPITALIZATION & WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

CLERK OF CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT

REGISTRAR OF VOTERS

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

CAPITAL BUDGET AND FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL PLAN

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (INCL. DELGADO ALBANIA PLANTATION & MUNICIPAL YACHT HARBOR)

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

FINANCE DEPARTMENT AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE

MISCELLANEOUS – CAO and OTHER PROGRAMS (excl. Mayor)

 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

LAW DEPARTMENT

CIVIL SERVICE

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

PARKS AND PARKWAYS DEPARTMENT

SANITATION DEPARTMENT

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SHERIFF

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

CANAL STREET DEVELOPMENT CORP.

FRENCH MARKET CORP. & UPPER PONTABLA BUILDING RESTORATION CORP.

NEW ORLEANS BUILDING CORP.

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

ORLEANS PARISH COMMUNICATION DISTRICT

N.O. AVIATION BOARD

ALGIERS DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

HISTORIC DISTRICT LANDMARKS COMMISSION

VIEUX CARRE COMMISSION

CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

MISCELLANEOUS – MUNICIPAL PARTICIPATION IN CIVIC AFFAIRS

Arts Council of New Orleans

Essence Music Festival

Louisiana S.P.C.A.

LSU Ag Center and Southern Ag Center

Mayor’s Military Advisory Committee

New Orleans Council on Aging

Orleans Parish Veterans Affairs (Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs)

Public Defender

Regional Planning Commission

Total Community Action

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

MAYOR’S OFFICE

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

MAYOR’S OFFICE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

MISCELLANEOUS – MAYOR’S OFFICE

NEW ORLEANS REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

AS NEEDED FOR BUDGET COMMITTEE

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

MOSQUITO, TERMITE, & RODENT CONTROL

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

CORONER’S OFFICE

JUVENILE COURT

HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT/ YOUTH STUDY CENTER

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SHERIFF

 

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY

N.O. REGIONAL BUSINESS PARK

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT

PUBLIC LIBRARY

COUNCIL & ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 through WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

AS NEEDED FOR BUDGET COMMITTEE

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21

ADOPT BUDGET

 

These meetings are accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for additional accommodation or any assistance required to fully participate may be directed to Calvin Aguillard at 504-658-1093 (V) or through LA Relay Service at 1-800-846-5277 (T), 1-800-737-1013 (Spanish) or the All City Departments TTY: (504)658-2059. This communiqué is available in alternative formats upon request.

 

For additional information, contact Barbara Avalos (658-1092; btavalos@nola.gov) or Calvin Aguillard (658-1093; cjaguillard@nola.gov)

Lower Ninth Ward CZO Meeting, Tuesday, October 8

On Tuesday, October 8 from 6:00 to 8:00pm, the City Planning Commission will host a public input meeting on the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for the Lower Ninth Ward. The meeting will take place at MLK School at 1617 Caffin Avenue.

 

Lower Ninth Ward