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Mayor Shines One On 

Landrieu promises to repair all city streetlights this year

  Last October, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration touted the fact it had filled 46,000 potholes the previous year. On May 2, Landrieu announced another major streets initiative: repairing every one of the 54,400 streetlights in New Orleans by the end of 2012. The bulk of the funding will come from $8 million in one-time federal recovery funds. The ordinance to implement the grant is being authored by District E City Councilman Jon Johnson.

  A press conference announcing the initiative featured a skirmish between Landrieu and WWL-TV's Bill Capo, whose "Action Reports" frequently feature citizen complaints about streetlights. Landrieu, who rarely shies away from mixing it up with reporters, interrupted Capo during a question,saying, "Bill, seriously, just stop for a second. I don't want to ruin your career, but ... you can go anywhere in the city and you'll be able to find a streetlight that's out." Landrieu concluded, sarcastically, "We'll create a special Bill Capo line that everybody can stand in, and if they get in your line, we'll fix their streetlights first. How about that?"

  Currently the city spends 120 man-hours a week on streetlights. The new plan calls for six crews working six 13-hour days a week, a nearly fourfold increase.

  Residents can report streetlight problems on the city's designated hotline by calling 658-8080. — KEVIN ALLMAN

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