Oct 3 2010
Amendment to Reform NORD Easily Passes
October 3, 2010
The amendment was strongly backed by the New Orleans Business Council and a long list of other business and neighborhood organizations, who said the city has been failing its young people and the new structure was a way to remedy that.
But the New Orleans branch of the NAACP and some community activists warned that “privatizing” NORD could lead to the imposition of admission and participation fees that poor families would be unable to pay. Proponents rejected the term “privatization” and said one of the chief goals of the new arrangement is to “level the playing field” citywide by making sure that all neighborhoods have quality parks and playgrounds. They said there was no danger of prohibitive fees.
NAACP President Danatus King also said the new commission “would not be directly answerable to the public or any elected official” and could become a center of corruption. Proponents replied that the commission would be subject to open meetings laws, would include several public officials and would have to make annual financial accountings to the city.
The charter amendment does not spell out the composition of the new recreation commission, but the City Council passed an ordinance to do that.
The 13-member commission will include the mayor and two other high administration officials, a council member, leaders of the Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board, the chairman of the City Planning Commission and five private citizens, one from each council district, with expertise in specified fields such as sports, business, law and the arts, or as “consumers” of recreation programs, such as a parent or booster club member. The 13th member will represent the fundraising foundation.
Source: The Times-Picayune
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