Would You Favor a Plan to Make New Orleans’ French Quarter a State Park?
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser talks about his plant to wrest away control of the French Quarter from the city of New Orleans and make that part of the historical city a state park.
Nungesser has expressed concern for some time over the rising crime in the Crescent City and the seeming lack of concern on the part of Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams.
"We were working on a plan to take the French Quarter and try to separate it and manage it separately," Nungesser says, citing a similar plan in San Diego and that city's previously crime-riddled Gaslamp district, "We were unsuccessful in getting that through the legislature last year and we'll be back this year to try to do something."
"There were some shootings this weekend in New Orleans," he says, making his case that NOLA leaders are soft on crime, "That's not helping Mardi Gras or helping tourism.
"Until the DA starts keeping people behind bars...and they get serious about crime, I don't if we survive much longer in the New Orleans market, with kind of crime in the news.
"Something's got to happen quickly and it starts with them keeping the bad people in jail."
But what are the chances of city leaders giving up control of the Big Easy's major tourist spot? "We had a plan worked out with the mayor" Nungesser continues, "(A panel of) four appointed by me, four by her. People who live in the Quarter. We met with the police chief and looked at how many officers we need to keep the Quarter safe. We were well on our way with a plan, but some people who were not included in the plan didn't help us get the legislation passed.
"But it's got to be a group effort. We can't do it without the city council and the mayor's support. We've got to work as a team to get this done."