Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nagin and Fielkow Tussle Over PPP

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 8:50 PM

After an announcement earlier today by the Mayor’s Press Office that Mayor Nagin was suspending indefinitely the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for Economic Development, Council President Arnie Fielkow has fired back claiming Nagin’s action was a retaliation for the Council’s voting down the Mayor’s plan to move City Hall to the Chevron building.

In the morning press release, Nagin was quoted as saying the suspension came as a result of a letter from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), which cited a number of concerns regarding the PPP board selection process.

"After more than 15 months of back and forth discussion and debates, with a minimal one-year private sector commitment, a lack of diversity, particularly in terms of gender as well as race and ethnicity within the initial private sector board nominations, and posturing for ultimate control of this entity, I am concluding that this is not the right time to continue to push this initiative," Nagin said.

In his own press release, Fielkow responds that the IEDC letter was meant to help guide the selection process — “not to shut it down.” Fielkow went further stating that Nagin’s actions are harmful to city, especially considering he had previously supported the PPP.

“I and many others stand willing and ready to perfect and complete the process of establishing the city’s first dedicated economic development organization and to ensure an inclusive membership on the PPP board,” Fielkow writes. “New Orleans deserves better than governance by retaliation. Real leadership is needed to fulfill our commitment to the future success of the city.”

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