Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s eight appointments to the newly restructured Sewerage & Water Board won approval from the City Council on Thursday, ending a vetting process that began more than six months ago.
Just one of the mayor’s picks, Kerri Kane, appeared before the council on Thursday. Because of scheduling conflicts, Kane was the only one of the eight who had not been previously cleared by the council’s Governmental Affairs Committee. None of the appointees attracted criticism.
The newly formed board conforms to legislative and voter-approved changes enacted last year that call for the board to have 11 members instead of 13, limited members’ terms to four years instead of nine and for the first time required that most members have professional qualifications. City Council members no longer sit on the board.
Landrieu’s appointees are Kane, a local lawyer; Scott Jacobs, a mechanical engineer and insurance executive; Robin Barnes, the chief operating officer for Greater New Orleans Inc.; Marion Bracy, the vice president for facility planning and management at Xavier University; Mark Moody, a NASA engineer; Tamika Duplessis, a chemistry instructor at Delgado Community College; Kimberly Thomas, a project manager with the construction company Jacobs/CSRS; and Joseph Peychaud, president of St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory School (formerly Xavier University Preparatory).
Kane, Bracy and Moody already serve on the board. The panel also will include Landrieu and two additional members from the city’s Board of Liquidation, City Debt: architect Ray Manning and investment adviser Alan Arnold.
Peralta back at work five days after surgery
Days after going under the knife to start treatment for skin cancer, St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta said Thursday that the surgery was a success.
Although he said last week that his medical leave could take up to six weeks, he was back at work five days later.
Peralta disclosed in March that he had been diagnosed with a form of skin cancer.
The cancer turned out to be “a lot worse than they thought,” he said. His doctors believed it had spread to cartilage and muscle tissue near his nose. The surgery was anticipated to be a two-hour procedure but lasted five hours, he said.
Peralta also underwent plastic surgery last week, but he said he will require another round of that in order to finish the job.
“I’m feeling wonderful. I’ve had little to no pain,” he said Thursday.
The condition, known as basal cell carcinoma, was detected on his nose, back, an arm and a leg, he said before the surgery. It is not life-threatening.
This is Peralta’s second bout with skin cancer; the first was about seven years ago.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. Most cases occur on skin that is regularly exposed to sunlight.
Peralta has said he plans to seek re-election next year.
Council resolution hails Clarkson’s efforts
She may have been gone from the City Council for a month now, but former Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson still found a way to be present in spirit, though not body, at Thursday’s meeting.
The council passed a resolution recognizing the former council president as a “devoted public servant, a Realtor and someone with a deep love of New Orleans (who) has worked hard and accomplished much for the betterment of the quality of life of New Orleans.”
The resolution outlines Clarkson’s many achievements, from her creation of the first Algiers levee bonfire to sponsoring the city’s master plan.
“This is just definitely putting on the record the long legacy of (Clarkson),” Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said. “It’s just an honor to do so, and we continue to wish her great success in retirement and just look forward to upholding the legacy.”
Clarkson was not present to receive the recognition.
City Council’s longtime PR firm to stay on job
The City Council has extended its contract with the Estopinal Group to provide “communications consultant services” through the end of the year. The contract amount is not to exceed $67,500.
The Estopinal Group, led by Denise Estopinal, has handled the council’s news releases and website updates since being selected through a request for proposals in December 2011. The company’s contract was for one year, with an option to extend the agreement for up to three additional years. The contract was renewed for six months in December.
Though the council has issued a new request for proposals for communications services, the panel won’t have enough time to consider those requests before the Estopinal Group’s current contract expires in June.
Compiled by Jaquetta White and Richard Thompson