City Council gets quorum after more than a month without one


Posted on June 7, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 8 at 8:58 AM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- More than a month after the City Council lost a quorum, all council members showed up at Thursday's meeting on the heels of the swearing of its newest member.

Diana Bajoie is now the interim District B councilwoman, after her appointment yesterday by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

"I think we have a great council, y'all," Bajoie said. "Let's give them a big hand because I'm looking forward to this and we're going to need your help."

Her colleagues on the council welcomed her warmly, including Jon Johnson and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. They made their first appearances since walking out on May 3, after the council failed to pass a change in how the elections for the at-large seats are held.

"I hope the audience and everybody in District B realizes how truly lucky they are to have such a strong legislator," said Hedge-Morrell, District D councilwoman.

City Council Vice President Stacy Head, who had originally wanted Errol George appointed to the seat, also spoke positively about Bajoie.

"We've known each other for a long time, quite close with your family, have the utmost respect and am very excited about you doing all the good work I know you are going to do in District B," Head said.

"We're proud to say this City Council is alive and well and prouder than we've ever been," said City Council President Jackie Clarkson.

However, there were also moments of tension, which emerged over a discussion about how the council operates:

"I think we need to make a decision as to whether or not we want matters to go through the committees before they get to the council," said District E Councilman Jon Johnson.

"If we're going to take this a step further, we should go into a hard-clad rule that we vote on and have a yay or a nay," Clarkson said.

"I'm in agreement with that," Johnson replied.

"Ok, let's get on with it and let's get on with the meeting, it's long enough," Clarkson said.

The council faced a massive agenda of nearly 70 pages, leaving them to tackle the legacy of the past two months.