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WWL>Topics>>6-17-14 3pm French Quarter issues

6-17-14 3pm French Quarter issues

Jun 17, 2014|

Angela discussed the new state law that will allow the City of New Orleans to increase fines for those violating French Quarter ordinances. Is this good or bad?

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I really appreciated all those people who came up on to talk about the homeless situation where we're not gonna resolve anything in an hour. But it's very important I think to get issues on on the table. And then pull everybody together to see what can be done. A lot has been accomplished with or homeless in the New Orleans area Hubert. I'm Martha -- saying we're down by 83% but that doesn't mean that the 2000 people on the street. Don't need help or guidance or whatever and at the same time we as residents and business people. Feel uncomfortable but it's people are living in a tent city essentially under the expressway so again we will address it again. And again meanwhile. If you've been aggravated by issues that affect your quality of life. Whether -- -- neighborhoods sound issues or heavy trucks barreling down streets they shouldn't. Or shops the continue to put filthy word T shirts in their doorways and windows. There is hope that things may change. If for no other reason the fines for those breaking the rules just double. Thanks to state legislature that recently passed house bill 789. The New -- City Council was for it and so were many neighborhood groups but not every one. What about you let us now to 601870. Again that's 2601 and seventy we would Le pew is part of this conversation. Someone who has issues with the new fines brand -- chair of advocates for Louisiana public health care. And a former French Quarter resident. And we have Coca Garrett here along with Susan Jillian -- Coco is president of the French Quarter citizens' organization. And Susan is the vice president and they are both happy dissing the fine increases. So I'm gonna start with you. Cocoa and Susan. What specifically. What are the areas where the fines did increase. When I. Increased. On municipal offenses. And this is after the first offense. The first offense is still 500 dollars. The second offense is there is an option. To go to a thousand dollars it doesn't say it's going to it says it there's an option. We actually were hoping it would go to 5000 dollars but we settled for a thousand. And this grew out of the frustration. Of a 500 dollar fine and two people that are making. -- 20000 dollars a day. That it was insignificant. And so we felt like this would help with enforcement to the egregious for the egregious offenders. They don't seem to -- the law and could you give me some specifics of about what those municipal offense is our. Well -- out to a -- doesn't include it doesn't and played any thing to do with parking or traffic first OK okay so that's off the table. -- Excuse me blighted houses. That are continually cited -- don't do anything about it. Illegal dumping has been a problem throughout the city. The large eighteen wheelers that go down and actually park in neighborhoods where they shouldn't. The illegal AB knows. The teacher -- psyches and that. Display things that are against the ordinance. So it's really it's not a French Quarter inch issue for sat Irsay ugly it's really a citywide issue. OK Brad. You. Talked to me. Well. I am. And once relieved that the maximum penalty was dropped from 5000. To. 500 for the first offense and 1000 for the subsequent offenses that that's not correct me it was not drop from -- thousand to 500 I have never was I I haven't digest. Here and this is to be dole. This is -- I'm speaking -- is the bill and its progression and it's important here to talk about honesty about intent. Because. My objection in some is. This is about zero tolerance of certain people in the community particularly the poor and dispossessed. I mean I lived in a French Quarter for ten years I worked in the quarters for fifteen years. It was a glorious existence -- I have to say it was very privileged to be there. But at the same time I saw people being singled out for harassment for abuse. And yelling you know there are things that happened with people. As far as altercations were residents stuff when you have counsel you get charged council. But if someone was obstructing a sidewalk for example on the plaza of Jackson square people were arrested for that. And should be fine 500 dollars. Or is what was originally intended for this legislation a maximum penalty of 5000 dollars per violation. It's unreal amino where you -- of people this through there. If you bicycle. The wrong way down the street now is that includes uses traffic enforcement I'm not sure play you know. The thing is that could be the penalty 500 dollars or thousand hours and subsequent offenses. And we're talking about. Route without regard to one's ability to pay. Despite the wealth and through a list in the city since Katrina. There's still a lot of poor folks in the city and a 500 dollar fine discussed on a first offense is -- between. It's just think let's just take what Coco was saying. The rumbling eighteen wheelers. And parking and it certainly in the quarter I mean that they're against the law but I -- sing them well. Shouldn't they be find. Well maybe they should vote -- according the way I'm reading this legislation traffic violations or not. Being included here so. You know also the big boss' son French Quarter streets which shouldn't be there. But the way this is written. And on and on my attorney so attorney speak out by all means. It's at 637. News governor general's signed it into law. Ali it's not including traffic at all. Nobody it would include eighteen wheelers that are parked on sidewalks and destroying this parking it says parking violations this is the died just a bit. It's says that establishes a maximum penalty. -- story outlook for Leo is it. It says that. Present law. This provides a maximum penalty which are being may be imposed for any violation. For the violation of any ordinance enacted by the governing authority. And the city -- Orleans shall be a fine of 500 dollars for first offense violation. And a thousand dollars for the second and any subsequent offense. Provides that the maximum penalties do not apply to penalties for non moving. Or parking violations or other traffic violations and including those captured by an automatic. Traffic enforcement system if your aim was to block trucks. Frankly I would support. This bill doesn't do it this law doesn't -- and instead it means. I think. Disproportionately. On folks. That earned tourist areas of the city and you know are facing punitive responses. Look let's talk another example. The teacher shops. That they do have NIC them all the time. And I don't care about teacher -- when I care about is the filth that's on some of the shirts. That -- you see the family walking in front of viewing to kid looks up. It just unbelievable to me that that still happens it is still illegal to actually. Paying T shirts on the front. Right doors and people do it out tan and sign that that in itself is you know. So let's say the shop owner is then charged 500 dollars for the first one and then the second time. Month later it's a thousand dollars what you're saying -- maybe after a thousand dollars per fine they wouldn't be as compelled to put the -- or take the risk. Exactly and it by no means. Targeted any disenfranchised person for heaven's sakes the city. The mayor the City Council. All agreed to this and thought it was a great idea. When it was presented -- and -- legislature and in the senate there was not one objection so to you would think that. These men and women that represent constituents all over this the city. They represented disenfranchise as well as. Middle class upper middle class if if they had a concerned about it they would have brought it up it was never mention. The whole point is the people that are chronic offenders. They have no regard for what the rules are we are not looking to pick on people. It is just so that it. You know is is a burden if it could be a -- every day if they continue to do it daily. F 500 dollar -- is considered cost of doing business. A thousand dollar plan. Particularly if it's on a daily basis or weekly basis for chronic offender it will get the attention. Stay with us everyone were talking about the new law that was signed by the governor. That doubles the fines for municipal offenses stay with this we'll be right back financial on WWL. Well we are back talking about -- a law that was signed by governor Jindal that in essence gives the city. The right to raise fines for municipal offenses. On the first offense 500 that stays the same but the second offense a thousand and there are those who feel that that we'll have more of an impact to stop as is up. One of our guests and sort of the chronic. Issues come up. -- odd is also here has some concerns about how broad this is and how it's going to impact but again I welcome -- Garrett. And Susan -- you know both with the French Quarter citizens' organization. And brand on. Again Brad. Your fear is that this just -- it too broad. It is -- I mean I'm looking at the legislation and what was passed. And it has nothing about going before the City Council and seeking permission. As to whether or not this is one thing is permits warn others like he might do with a zoning ordinance or. Or something with infraction on housing or something. You know. Even though define has certainly been lowered and I appreciate and I might added there were a lot of us constituents that called our legislators and and -- I even remember calling your show at one point and saying look you know. There was a panel on the show here about lowering. The emphasizing of imprisonment. -- you know Louisiana leads not only the nation but the world imprisonment in incarceration. In per capita. And I I said look here's this bill is proposing a 5000 are fine and you know didn't the inspector general's office just. Ever report saying that the police spent too much time on small crimes in instead of dealing with -- much bigger issues. And you know I'm afraid that if this gets totally inactive in and embraced by the police department. That there's going to be a lot of folks profiled. We want to make our tourist areas clean. And safe and all that stuff and I like the aspiration but you know we don't live in -- -- world there and there are people who. Quote look out of place and maybe they're doing things may be gutter punks are doing things wrong. But I dare say a lot of them are Rouse did and they might be facing these sorts of fines and end to hire a lawyer and trying to undo it. That's a huge imposition 500 dollars that's a lot of money to someone who's pour. What was the goal. Of the organizations who went to -- -- knowing JP morale. -- to try to get this passed what was so I think all of us had different issues we dealt with and been very frustrated not being able to find success. There were a couple of the T shirt shops that had been cited. There also some on illegal ATMs that were put in the wrong places. And they were. Cited began and they all they did was just tear off. Stop works or whenever that war. You know issued to him on the city and just throw down and walk over remain open at this as usual. And I got to be very frustrating for us that try to abide by the law. And so we thought well maybe if we increase the planned for people like -- that are making quite a lot of money. That that would have a little bit more of an impact on it so that was kind of the Genesis where things got started. And I also. And you know over recent months and probably now even a year Thomas finds. In any of the neighborhood organizations were together talking about a lot of different issues. Trying to come to some consensus and there was a list called the seven essentials and that was one of the things that was -- -- and then. Let's try to the yards from him we have a caller. -- -- You. Was strange ought to say warriors. On Murray's -- In his little current quarter 81 years. It's the world record in fact. Just what -- -- about hormone. Two dollars I'm -- as well respect that. But the thing about it is so bubble this couple of crimes unit report that -- make it. City. I come out of so it won't. Applicable worries first. Are you saying that the the streets mention where are exposed to go get on the sidewalk on. On Google like much -- should at least once a week. You know they just continue to do -- pick up the street. And they you know. Do you think -- that this is by increasing this to a thousand dollars for second. Offense. Is a good thing that it will make a difference. For that very thing people who were riding your bikes in the wrong place. Wrong place wrong direction and that it didn't discipline short of calling going to Australia and they go right by almost hit them. And else -- -- element that you don't like this again. You know person. What is the answer. -- well what I. Should. Such Albany's bikers. And that. Well I think you bring up probably the biggest questions -- and that is enforcement of anything and heavens knows the programs we have done in the last six months. We're all boils down to. You can have the most fabulous laws on the books. And they're not enforced. So ultimately what does that mean. It's on its course and choose their eyes slight wobble -- such -- And actually made -- State license plates. That. Actually she is that. You know. And -- In which these. Contractors coming in from. Six want to change it but. That. -- Absolutely I think the enforcement is the bottom line and I'm with you -- And it I don't think the bike riders had a clue. As to that danger that there hand by writing the wrong way not stopping at stop signs. Those of us that live in the French Quarter are used to driving we know what streets don't can't stop signs so we don't stop. You always know if it's a tourist as they stopped at every corner but those of us to keep going and these bikes come out of nowhere. I mean they are looking for an accident and -- would -- -- tragic for everyone concerned if that happened. It's a real problem the only thing is this bill doesn't restrict that because if bicycles are part of traffic. General mistress law doesn't deal with them at all. -- I I appreciate that phone call anybody else who isn't a comments to 601 in seventy. We do have to break for the news but we'll be right back I'm Angela under the WL. -- are subject this hour is the new. Doubling the fines for. Really quality of life violated the call that. But but something that was just brought -- is very true we're talking about yes don't Angus T shirts like patient. With the -- on it and people continue to do it. And and other issues can be music you can be too loud it can be whatever. But something we've talked about fairly recently. Goes back to the short term rentals. And this would include that absolutely. But are they even once again enforcing that. -- but at -- you know with the short terminal. Committee is expanding. City mind. And I think the biggest offenses we -- workforce where we live which is the French Quarter. But now it's we've reached out to all the neighborhoods around the city it their all experiencing the same problem. And this is one of the most egregious offenses that goes on in the city and for the lava man can't figure out why that city doesn't take action themselves. Because we can report says easily there's hardly any property for sale anymore in the French Quarter. Because that is short term rentals are so. Large. That people -- you know they're they're not selling townhouses there -- amount on a daily basis and something has to be done to stop well we in a show that we did we brought up that very thing. This will weaken document in other words -- that the citizen is willing to help. So that the enforcement is done it and yet it still isn't done not done so what is the mystery behind wryly I mean it's like the mayor saying he doesn't want the money. I mean we have. Document or he wants the money. Because he wants people to come in and spend money right and they would still spend money because most of the short term Reynolds are more expensive. Ban hotel hotel council for -- and so. You know they get it on a short basis but I have one that is right across the street from me and a duplex. They're both rented out all the time. Is gone and it has gone from being a lovely refurbished phone at the tan. To now it's that these slats are on the -- the doors. I -- -- notices less and a year old replacing a refrigerator out of one on the other day. Yes less than a year -- -- 22 people coming out of line. After you know with their sleeping bags and now that it's rented to one. You know -- are two people so the laws on the books are being enforced but at least if they weren't forced we beat. The city would be making more money right at least a million dollars we've calculated -- knowing. The numbers that we have. And that's just it's just ridiculous at times I'm in we have some caller let's go to Ed. Hello and -- and good. Distance. Up questions you. French court association. Number. I don't -- Sunday morning. Not -- -- know that it's warriors. Walk in our own people sleep on the sidewalk. At -- -- You know I'm no expert going toward them but this can be. I was wondering -- it. In this is a regular -- considered all. And I isolated incident I'll open it. Okay thank you. I'm ashamed to tell you that is a common occurrence and it's despicable it's deplorable. It is -- young people who have just sort of pass all not yet out some that is a combination -- my dad though that. It's not. Against the law to sleep in public record shouldn't -- he and the solution to homelessness is providing homes for people. Providing temporary lodgings that are available and accessible. And that might deal with different types of needs. You know I'm thankful for whatever housing. Places are available but I have to say they're pre limited. There we just a whole hour on this one hour ago it's a huge problem it is -- problem that they are addressing them. And but we still have homeless people it and it does bring up. And it is about quality of life people feel sorry for people who are homeless people and Medicaid is wanna help people -- almost. Sometimes because of mental issues they're not accepting it I mean it's a struggle there's a there's a complexity to it. But when you invite the world come to the French Quarter to have people sleeping on the streets is wrong that's. I just -- it as a tourist. It was this past weekend and he himself had had had too much to drink and my husband and I had to walk into his tail. And he mentioned. All of the people sleeping on the sidewalk and how -- this wise it was ironic -- at the time. I'm glad your friend at a hotel the walk to you know and it's not like he was not my friend he was. -- an editorial yes and able to help himself at that point on it was a complete stranger but let's go to album in the French Quarter Alvin. Hello Angeles. Actually. -- a block from the old station. -- WWL. And I think they're good analogy. Comparing fines and fixing problems. I'm assuming you're younger than me everybody younger than me but the problem was with driving drop. As a -- and -- 1960s. When you would drive trunk. You get a slap on the wrist and that would be -- -- something very similar and as we know that's a deadly problem. And it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and find. Correct the problem I'm sorry if you don't like the fines. Don't do the crime but the only way we we do as humans. We re active fine if you drive -- You had serious consequences. And that's what this whole thing about and thank god -- -- legislature. I understand. If you don't wanna pay the -- -- -- to -- much money you have. Don't break the crime. That they sense Angela. -- it makes sense now I appreciate you calling an album. In Albany. It sounds simple but. You're right and I understand what you're saying Brad we have had a history in this community. Of of abuses of things but clearly I think were all on the same page that we need to tighten up. So that we keep. What's precious precious. But. None of this is worth it if nobody is enforcing it expects. I just wonder though. If you can I have another zero tolerance campaign. Whether it's really going to be an evenhanded. Expression. Across the board. Or does -- mean to zero tolerance means and those who zero won't be tolerated. I'm afraid it's the latter and this law is very broad I think too broad I think he'll be legally challenged. And did their desire that you want a lot of the things I agree with. One not be met by this law. Stay with us everyone I'm Angela under the W well. Well it's a new law on if you break -- municipal law. The first time it's 500 dollars after that it's a thousand dollars. Makes a difference. Our guest today -- Garrett and -- Susan -- you know both with the French Quarter citizens' organization. They are very pleased to see the increase in fines. And we have -- ought to have some concerns about it saying that he feels the law is too broad. And perhaps we will be so we don't have an attorney here because I think we can get some questions answered let's quickly go to our callers on June in the -- Certainly there's in this city all the extra out for. The interstate the -- yeah. All these people and what unintended consequences of this. And how much. Is it going to cost went sportsman. We all ready. You at the bit. You can't. -- trucks in the current quarter and oh. Score today. A lot of money on your day to make sure that he -- pointed that the patient. I just wondered when -- -- Politicians. To force these things. Well and then you just said I'm just maturity is this going to. Well. Why my everything and forced a lot of the laws that are already on the books. Quietly -- -- -- -- sport but so you know the stuff so you can put all we want on the -- over six -- -- Nation why. And how many. Are. You vote or opinion that this. Yes you bring up a very good point and I appreciate that -- Let's go to -- in Baton Rouge -- Yeah I retired -- -- you know from after seventeen years in New Orleans and moved here to -- I absolutely love yours I've gotten my blood on the today. There were trashed my idea of absolute how much been an entire day wandering the French Quarter and the magic they actually magnetic world market. But nowadays it is only a faint glimmer of what used to be it smells like hearing. Felt like -- garbage. And your previous caller is just right on target the lack of any enforcement. Nowadays you walk down this sound of them the speakers not only blow your era but it actually you can feel it coming against judicial strong. And at children halt to read the pornographic to church. I and I don't know what the gentlemen you have what you -- -- word about the defenseless in the lost. And that is not an issue moving again this is an issue people who just want to use some magic of that time. To make money and to heck with what they have to do to do it. But my -- Enforcement -- all lighting system there's just not existent and so sorry and so so at this I remember. I remember when it was same magic the magic -- Think go to the French Quarter and water which family and your kids you can't do that. Well you know something even talk about voters is I've lived around there for forty years and I remember. Long time ago how bad smell that we get it cleaned up after the storm thank you Sidney Torres thank you Sidney Torres. And and it's not as bad but is coming back. Well the worst thing that happened is when they pulled a million dollars up but the contract for that and that was and that was in the that was in -- now that's right and he used to. Sanitize the streets with the gas pressure washers and everything. And those days are just not there right now it says to me it can happen absolutely anything done in the mayor should be ashamed in my opinion that he is allowed this to happen along with teacher surpassed -- There's still thousands of people visit the French Quarter every -- -- and and so there's a lot of good that's going on. I'm just wondering about something that's overly broad. Applying to your concerns and and. And perhaps the next show we do one will be about enforcement if we get in full force when people -- that's an issue because we try and it's difficult. But I think universally. That is the question. So I can't thank you well enough for being here stay with us everyone we'll be right back.

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