Inside metro politics for March 30, 2013

Time is on Landrieu’s side for meeting note

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council set some of the local media abuzz on Wednesday afternoon following an afternoon announcement about an emergency meeting of the council on Thursday morning.

Email from the city and council sent Wednesday afternoon notified the public that the meeting would happen at 10 a.m. Thursday. It appeared that the city had violated the law requiring giving the public 24 hour notice about a meeting.

Not so, City Hall officials said.

Council President Stacy Head told The Lens that Landrieu’s office sent note to the council’s chief of staff at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday that he would call the meeting.

A formal letter arrived just after 9 a.m., and a public notice was posted in City Hall by 9:30 a.m., Head told The Lens.

The calendar on the council’s website was updated between 10:04 and 10:15.

Yes, the email was sent out after word of the meeting was posted in City Hall and online, but that was really just a courtesy since they are not required by law, Head told The Lens.

To ensure that 24 hours had passed between the Wednesday notice being posted and the Thursday meeting starting, Head called it to order about 10:18 a.m.

Hester behaves at council — basically

Sandra Wheeler Hester, a longtime gadfly at City Council and the Orleans Parish School Board meetings, is quick to take her place in front of a microphone when it is her time to speak at any public meeting she might attend.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to City Council President Stacy Head when “18 Wheeler,” as Hester is known,” did not jump up on Thursday when called to speak at an emergency City Council meeting to discuss the effects the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office consent decree could have on the city.

Head assumed Hester had left.

Not so, Hester said when she returned to the council chambers.

Hester, who is often forcibly removed from meetings for being considered out of line in her comments and actions, said she was outside in the hallway speaking to a police officer who complimented her on how well behaved she was.

But old habits die hard, and before too long, Hester was loudly agreeing and disagreeing with other speakers who addressed the council.

Head reminded Hester that she had been allowed her time to speak and asked her to keep her voice down. Hester continued to make comments about others’ comments, but this time she left the meeting under her own will when it ended.

Cantrell to discuss parade ordinances

District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will host a roundtable discussion today to discuss the enforcement of existing parade ordinances and to begin talking about updating those laws.

Cantrell wrote a letter to New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas urging him to provide better enforcement of laws that govern ladder placement and prohibit blocking of intersections during Carnival after constituents brought those issues to her attention.

The meeting will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave.

Compiled by

Danny Monteverde