Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s replacement of a long-serving, outspoken member of the City Planning Commission from the Lower Garden District came with some controversy.
After Landrieu chose NOCCA president Kyle Wedberg to replace Commissioner Lou Volz, Karen Gadbois of The Lens reported that Wedberg had “paved the entire street frontage of a lot adjacent to his home” in violation of city zoning law and without permits. Wedberg, a Bywater resident, has said he thought his contractor was performing the work in accordance with the law, and Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer has praised his record as “stellar,” according to a report by Bruce Eggler of The Times-Picayune.
Volz, at the end of his last meeting on Jan. 22, noted that he was being replaced. In his farewell remarks, Volz said the commissioners had been informed that the planning commission staff was being moved buildings, and he wondered aloud why they were being made to work the long hours to move and even paint their offices when the city has deputy mayors making in excess of $100,000 per year [See video here: Volz’s remarks begin about an hour and 5 minutes into the meeting].