NEW ORLEANS — The Mayor’s Office today issued the following statement in response to today’s City Council veto override:
“This obsession with the Mayor’s appropriate use of the apartment in the Upper Pontalba Building has revealed that certain members of the New Orleans City Council would rather use their legislative powers to pursue personal vendettas than focus on the most pressing issues facing our people today,” said Director of Communications Gregory Joseph.
“Given that the City of New Orleans, under this administration, has faced innumerous unprecedented challenges, yet still achieved noticeable progress, any elected official not dedicated to overcoming these obstacles and continuing to move the city forward is pursuing an agenda not aligned with the needs and desires of the people.
It leads one to ask: whose agenda are certain members of the New Orleans City Council pursuing, and on whose behalf are they working?
The Mayor recently hosted community budget meetings in all five council districts where residents were listened to directly – not from behind a dais – and stated in their own voice that they recognize the progress the City has made and want to see the work performed on their behalf continue unabated. Throughout dozens of comments and questions, not one member of the public raised the Upper Pontalba Building, nor did they express any concerns on a range of areas certain members City Council continue to pursue with reckless abandon and a clear disregard for public opinion. Perhaps if City Council leadership could’ve found the time to attend even one of these public budget meetings, they would’ve heard firsthand the priorities and concerns of the people.
For most of the summer, the City of New Orleans has been under excessive heat advisories and warnings, breaking several longstanding records. Two weeks ago, the Mayor issued an emergency declaration over this, and her leadership on this issue prompted the Governor to soon follow suit and issue a statewide emergency declaration. We know New Orleans is on the frontlines of a changing climate. With this latest climate emergency continuously putting our most vulnerable communities at risk of heat-related illnesses or worse, is the use of a decades-old City-owned apartment really the best issue for the Council to constantly spend time and resources on?
For the past two years, City Council leadership has engaged in a systematic destruction of the authority of the Office of the Mayor. Every single attempt by Council leadership to undermine and weaken Mayor Cantrell’s authority and score cheap political points in their misguided attempt to one day assume the office the people of the City elected this Mayor to hold, not once, but twice, has produced no meaningful results for the residents they were elected to serve.
This office has never lost sight of the needs of the people and the need to continue to rebuild our city back stronger and better than it ever has been. Focusing on the real issues of public safety, infrastructure, residents’ quality of life and other areas are what the people elected both the Mayor and the City Council to do, and these are the priorities this administration has consistently pursued and will continue to advance.”