NEW ORLEANS-- It's been a busy couple of weeks for Mayor Latoya Cantrell, leading our city through a hurricane threat, an unexpected flood, and the 25th Essence Festival.
But after the fest and before the flood we got a chance to talk to the mayor about her first year in office, starting with the successful festival.
Cantrell said, "In terms of a public safety, that's what I try to go to first, public safety. Anytime you have large numbers and record breaking crowds in our city for Essence, for example, we had no incidents at all."
Folks who had to sit in hours of traffic impacted by the construction on Convention Center Blvd. may beg to differ, but Cantrell says that is to be expected.
"We're always hosting in our city and seems like there's never a good time for these types of improvements but they have to happen"
Speaking of improvements, the constant in our sinking city is infrastructure. And the mayor says it's important to improve our system but also to be honest with ourselves about what our existing system can and cannot do.
Cantrell continued, "To insure that we continue to build our capacity, and aosl shift to a system-wide approach because we cannot 'pump our way out of it' and that's where educating the public has to come. We can not set our people up to think one way when we know the reality is we are a city that has to live with water."
Finally, Mayor Cantrell's administration has been hit with accusations of not being transparent on the issues of school zone cameras and alerting the public of her travel schedule. She denied those claims and remains passionate about her need to be an ambassador for our city.
"Hey I work hard, I don't lie and I don't steal. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. I always live by the principle is that I damned if I do. 'Cause I'm going to do. In terms of serving this city, in terms of serving and participating in the U.S. Conference of Mayor's, absolutely I'm going to do that," said Cantrell.