City addresses concerns after group calls for N.O. East/ Lower 9th Ward secession

The Landrieu Administration is addressing residents for the first time since a group in New Orleans East announced a plan to try and secede from the city.

NEW ORLEANS -- The Landrieu Administration is addressing residents for the first time since a group in New Orleans East announced a plan to try and secede from the city.

Tyronne Walker, Senior Advisor and Communications Director for Mayor Mitch Landrieu addressed the crowd at East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission General Meeting (ENONAC) on Tuesday night.

While Walker did not wish to comment on the city's thoughts about secession, Walker wanted the people to know the city cares about New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward.

"There is no such thing as the City of New Orleans without the East and the Lower 9th Ward cause it helped raised me," Walker said.

Walker says since Mayor Landrieu took office seven years ago, there has been progress in New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward.

"Many residents said we need to focus on the Reed Corridor, particularly getting the plaza revitalized and get back on track. The plaza's not completely back, but there's more businesses on that site than there was in 2010 and that still is a priority for us to get back and going," Walker said.

The Landrieu Administration passed out information at the meeting, listing the challenges a secession could bring.

The list mentions taxes potentially going up for services and new negotiations with RTA to continue public transportation being a possibility. It also stated that New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward would have to buy or rent city owned facilities, like the hospital and Joe Brown Park.

"What it is saying is basically, as far as I'm concerned it's a scare tactic," Clyde McCoy with the Citizens for New Orleans East Secession said.

McCoy, who is spearheading the secession movement, says investments are not being spent in the community.

"Where are the FEMA monies that were suppose to go to the most devastated parts of this community which is New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward," McCoy said.

Troy Esteen feels those tax dollars are being spent in other parts of the city, such as Uptown and the French Quarter.

"I own three homes. I own three houses here in New Orleans East and I pay a lot of taxes and I don't see where it goes," Esteen said.

Longtime New Orleans East resident Kirk Stevens feels secession sounds promising, but he is also skeptical.

"Me being a retired person, on a fixed income status. The first thing I'd like to know after that is, what would the cost be to us to pay for those services, like law enforcement," Stevens said.

Despite what the Landrieu administration said to the crowd, McCoy said they plan on moving forward with their secession plans.

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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