NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is set to veto the New Orleans City Council’s decision to prohibit residential occupancy by anyone at the city-owned apartment, designated as the mayor’s unit, at the Pontalba building in the French Quarter.
Cantrell’s response follows the council’s ordinance to amend the city code, making it illegal for the mayor to have free residential use of the apartment.
The ordinance follows an allegation that Cantrell stayed there during Essence Fest weekend, even though there was an ordinance in place prohibiting overnight stays.
With a four to two vote, both Councilman Eugene Green and Councilman Oliver Thomas voted against the ordinance and Councilman Freddie King was absent.
Green voted against kicking them mayor out because he worries about how future mayors might like to use the apartment for business.
“We have a mayor who has two years left in her term. This particular asset has been made available to previous mayors and the decision that we made today assumes that future mayors need to be bound by restricted access to this asset which can be used and has been used in a productive manner,” said Green.
The ordinance would put the apartment up for lease at fair market value, and that would end the long-time practice of allowing officials to use it for free.
There’s no word yet on how councilmembers plan to respond to Cantrell’s veto.
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