Mayor Landrieu Vetoes Food Truck Ordinance

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Surprising food truck vendors throughout the city Mayor Mitch Landrieu vetoes the food truck ordinance.

Food truck vendors across New Orleans are sighing tonight. They’ve been defeated by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

“Well there’s frustration. A lot of it is just confusion,” says Rachel Billow who co-owns La Cocinita Food Truck and is president of the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition.

She says she’s been working with the mayor’s office on the new food truck ordinance for months and hadn’t heard of any problems until the mayor vetoed the ordinance passed by the council last month.

“We’ve worked so hard on this for so many months and I think, I guess we celebrated a little too early.”

The new ordinance would have welcomed more food trucks, and would have lessened the gap between trucks and restaurants.

Today the mayor`s office sent us a letter the Mayor Landrieu addressed to Clerk of Council Peggy Lewis. In it he called the ordinance possibly unconstitutional and goes on to say, “It would be unwise to sign this ordinance into law in its current form when it appears certain that it will be invalidated by the court.”

Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, the sole nay vote from the council, says in a statement, “While I believe that food trucks have a place in the overall economic picture of New Orleans, my first concern was for the brick and mortar restaurants and their employees. I was also concerned about the ordinance’s ability to meet a legal challenge.”

Billow says, “I don’t think it’s the government’s role to protect one sector of the industry over another. We’re a niche within the restaurant industry. We’re restaurants on wheels essentially, and I eat at food trucks sometimes and other times I eat at restaurants and I think that people like having choices.”

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