Feb 252013
 

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry speaks at a town hall meeting Monday night at Lafayette Academy in Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The prolonged stretches of darkness that have regularly fallen over Carrollton Avenue after sunset will soon be a thing of the past, City Councilwoman Susan Guidry told residents Monday night, reporting that the city plans to have all of the thoroughfare’s streetlights repaired within 90 days.

The lack of light on Carrollton Avenue has been a concern for at least a year — last February, Uptown-based police officers speculated that the darkness could be providing cover for a wave of armed robberies in the Carrollton area.

Some temporary lighting was installed during the Super Bowl/Mardi Gras period, City Councilwoman Susan Guidry said, and it will remain in place until permanent repairs are made. In the coming weeks, the city’s Department of Public Works will embark on a project to repair all the broken lights on Carrollton, installing new underground wiring and rebuilding circuitry where needed to get them all turned back on, Guidry said.

The project is expected to take 60 to 90 days, Guidry said department officials told her during a recent meeting. The repairs in some places are expected to be so involved that the streetcars will have to be temporarily halted to give workers room to work safely, Guidry said.

Guidry’s news about the streetlights came during a wide-ranging town-hall meeting Monday night before about 60 people. In an hour and a half, she gave rapid updates on topics including economic development, infrastructure, land use and criminal justice, and took several questions from the audience. Among other highlights:

Economic development: Costco and Mid-City Market, both on Carrollton, are slated to open this summer. Guidry still questions some of the proposals for new food-truck rules, but said a vote could come in early March.

Infrastructure: Road and drainage projects — from the major SELA drainage canals to the neighborhood-level Recovery Roads repaving program — continue all over Uptown. Her efforts to improve the Monticello canal are ongoing.

Land-use: On Jimmy’s Music Club — a topic that likely could have dominated the night, but didn’t — Guidry said she remains convinced of neighborhood-level support on the review process for new alcohol licenses created by her latest moratorium. She said she isn’t opposed to Jimmy’s reopening under that process, and when he protested that he had already waited six months for his first license application to be denied, Guidry said she was unaware he was even applying until January.

On Tulane Stadium, Guidry said she had additional questions about the negotiation between Landrieu and Tulane, but was left out of negotiations. Finally, she said the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance draft should be out in March, and it is planned to be approved by the end of 2013.

Criminal justice: Guidry said she still believes in the need for a federal consent decree over the NOPD, touted improvements in transparency she’s brought to the budgeting process for law-enforcement agencies and courts, and said she is optimistic about the implementation of better pretrial screening services.

To read our live coverage of the meeting, see below:

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  • http://twitter.com/MsNancyMitford Naunceling

    Great Coverage !

  • http://www.facebook.com/AndrewWardNOLA Andrew Ward

    great job as always Robert, but I’m disappointed you weren’t able to include Guidry’s message of having no intention to every solicit the views of her residents on a door to door basis.

    You’d thing an $85,000 per year pay check for a part-time job and a staff of five would enable her knock on her constituents’ doors at least once during a four-year term!

    It’s such a shame to learn that a woman elected to represent the desires and needs of the residents of District A has no time or interest in actually meeting those residents.

    If a burger flipper at McDonald’s forgets who his boss is, that boss fires him. An elected official has thousands of bosses. If (and in this case when) she forgets who she works for, perhaps it’s time she look for a new job as well!

    • twangster

      This is silly. She attends tons of public events (neighborhood meetings, park cleanups, festivals, etc.) and in my experience is very approachable and happy to discuss whatever you’d like.

      • nags

        I completely agree with twangster. Andrew Wards expectations are unrealistic for any politician in an urban environment anywhere.

        • http://twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

          I think Andrew Ward was referring to the format of the “town hall”.

          According to the article, “she gave rapid updates on topics including…”.

          Yet it appears that she “took several questions from the audience”.

          If I remember correctly, a “town hall” is where there are 100% direct Q and A between the speaker and the audience.

          If a politician is going to mainly give city updates, then TYPE them out in a electronic document, e.g. e-mail, and post them on the internet as well as places like Uptown Messenger.

          Why waste the town members’ time by reading off a list of city updates in front of a podium when these city updates could have been read off the internet somewhere?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmy-Anselmo/1304492154 Jimmy Anselmo

            Agreed. It’s supposed to be a meeting of the community to discuss issues and get answers from a public official, not a speaker who only allows certain questions from certain people whether they fill out their card or not.

  • Elaine Leyda

    Excellent, Robert, thanks! Regarding the Carrollton Ave (and n-hood) streetlights–I contacted Guidry’s office many times over the past year, and got nothing more than cc’s on forwarded emails to some other office. I never heard anything of substance, nor were any of my questions answered. Not at all a good way to build confidence in constituency, IMO.

    And, yes, a staff of five, yet she didn’t know Jimmy’s had applied?

    • nags

      Yes – I think there has been some disconnects and I also fault the property owners and developers of not being inclusive in their intentions and deliberations and assuming they were a shoe-in. Political, legal and development environments have changed particularly in the last 5 to 6 years. There is enough blame to point fingers in all directions. The bigger questions is what is the path to solve the problem.

  • Elaine Leyda

    I imagine NOPD did tell her that the dark street encouraged crime. I know for a fact several of us *residents* told her that, too–last year. And we have not heard the reason *why* the neutral ground lights are out in the first place–those have been out in most places for almost two years. Yet no news about it until last night, at a public meeting. Wonder why getting info took so long.

    Now news about the Broadway St. repairs, I guess, either, or if sewer and water lines will be repaired *before* the Fed-funded re-paving happens.

  • Roland Deschain

    I miss Shelley Midura.

    • http://twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

      Shelly Midura, where is she? I think she was far far more honest and open about the City’s Financial Situation then what you currently hear in the news. Right now, all you hear is “this is great” and “this will be done”, but come 90 days later, it’s still not done.

      Shelly Midura was far more in touch with the citizens as she understood what it was like to struggle in NOLA as opposed to many politicians and their staffers who “appear” to be live and work in an ivory tower. They, politicians and their staff, really don’t spend enough time on the streets and businesses and more interested in photo ops, charity events with wine and cheese, parties at bars and nice restaurants.

      The politicians and their staffers have absolutely no clue on how real businesses work nor how or why professionals, working class, artists and musicians can’t make a living in New Orleans or Louisiana. And as you can see, their lack of business skills clearly shows in New Orleans as there are no businesses in New Orleans or Louisiana and they have to use tax money to convince big stores to move in.

  • disqus_lUU5TXGPO0

    I think that it is time for the BGR to explore changing the City Charter that would increase the number of Council Districts in New Orleans,
    Dividing Lakeview and Uptown into separate Council districts?

  • http://twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    LIGHTS FIXED NINETY (90) DAYS FROM NOW?

    Why should anyone believe this?

    YET, here NOLA is. New Orleans STILL can’t even fix the street lights
    and now it’s ANOTHER distant 90 days? But did not the Mayor say all the lights are going to be fixed before the Superbowl?

    AND now it’s even more 90 days from now? That’s May 26, almost 3 weeks AFTER the LAST DAY of Jazz Fest (May 5, 2013).

    If the Mayor said before the Superbowl and it didn’t happen, why should anyone believe 90 days from now????

    - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    WHERE’S THE MONEY??????
    So where’s all that economic impact from special events like Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, BCS Bowl, Superbowl?” to FIX the LIGHTS?

    Below are some numbers taken from another post on another website:

    From the above numbers is seems:

    A. Louisiana Superdome Commission – Superdome and the New Orleans Arena

    (4 of the 13 cents)
    B. Exhibition Hall Authority – Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

    (3 of the 13 cents)
    C. state general fund (1)

    New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau

    (0.85 of the 13 cents)
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    Total For Above = 9 of those 13 cents per hotel dollar

    SUMMARY of HOTEL TAX DOLLARS
    Nine of the 13 cents per hotel dollar go to things that are ACTUALLY LOCATED in NEW ORLEANS, even though some have the name of a STATE entity.

    Let’s have THE LENS ask for an actual breakdown on MONEY that is going to be SPENT, and NUMBER OF CREWS working and the ACTUALLY SCHEDULE of EACH LIGHT FIXED AND WHEN THEY WILL BE FIXED. IF not fixed, WHY and when the next step will be.

    REFERENCE – Just do an internet search on
    The New Orleans Hotel/Motel Tax
    Charles Maldonado on the 13 percent tax levied on hotel rooms, and where that money goes
    by Charles Maldonado @ChMaldonado

    - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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