Pump to the River

Councilmember-at-Large Arnie Fielkow
Statement                                                                         October 1, 2009
CM Fielkow Headshot 

Statement: Council President Fielkow  
Believes Current Corps Plan is Flawed


New Orleans, LA - October 1, 2009 -  "The battle waged by the Army Corps of Engineers in the halls of Congress to deliver quick and cheap levee protection to New Orleans insults those who call New Orleans home, and it threatens the lives and property of most Americans.
"On May 21, 2009 the seven members of the City Council representing all New Orleanians unanimously resolved that the Army Corps of Engineers adopt Option 2 or 2A, and not the cheaper Option 1, to rebuild our region's outfall canal levees. For months our citizens debated the options that were offered by the Corps and finally reached consensus based on expert opinion. The neighboring Jefferson Parish Council has approved a similar resolution. Our Congressional delegation was armed with unanimous support to b attle for the appropriations needed to safeguard our community.
"Senators Landrieu and Vitter included an amendment to FY 10 Senate Energy and Water Appropriation that would study the relative risks of Options 1, 2, and 2A; temporarily suspend construction that ruled out any single option; and price all three. Unfortunately, some members of the Energy and Water Conference decided that the time needed for the review put the City at increased risk, while others deemed it too expensive. The amendment failed.
"Our safety fell prey to political process. This community, however, has already experienced the results of miscalculations by the Army Corps of Engineers, and we will not stand silently, waiting for a future levee failure to be erroneously blamed on "Mother Nature" again.
"With the restoration of a quarter of a million homes still underway, the temptation to press for speed is understandable. But in the few months needed for the Army Corps of Engineers to review these options, the long term needs of both New Orleans and our entire region can be met. It is government's job, it is the Corps' job, to build the best levee system possible.
"The Greater New Orleans region shares a belief that levee construction is not an appropriate place to economize, not in New Orleans, not anywhere - 54% of all Americans live near levees. The freedom from flooding that the Dutch have experienced over the past 50 years demonstrates that long range vision builds long term security.
"President Obama can elevate this issue above the political process and command the Army Corps of Engineers to build the best levees they can, not necessarily the cheapest or the fastest." 
Jaime Guillet
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Arnie Fielkow
Ph: 504-658-1063
Cell: 504-957-2035
NOLA City Council
The New Orleans City Council is the legislative branch of New Orleans city government. The Council considers and enacts all local laws that govern the City of New Orleans. The Council also approves the operating and capital budgets for the City, as recommended by the mayor, and continually monitors revenues and expenditures for local government operations. The City Council is also the regulatory body for public utilities. It also reviews and has final say on many land use and zoning matte rs, as well as considers major economic development projects for the City. As a Board of Review for Orleans Parish, the Council examines appeals of property tax assessments for real estate taxes, and certifies tax rolls to the Louisiana Tax Commission. Other responsibilities of the Council include overseeing the operation of the public access television in Orleans Parish.

The City Council is comprised of five districts and two councilmembers-at-large. Council President and Councilmember-at-Large Arnie Fielkow; Council Vice President and Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson; District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura; District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head; District "C" Councilmember James Carter; District "D" Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell; and District "E" Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis.