NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The explosive tension in the city’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee meeting last week is finally coming to a resolution of compensating and moving residents of Gordon Plaza after years of fighting.
The council has allocated $35 million towards a buyout of Gordon Plaza residents, and while you’d think the city would start signing checks to homeowners, there’s more waiting for the residents and officials charging politics on both sides.
In an exclusive interview with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, WGNO’s LBJ asked her about travel expenses, the recall effort, and the question of what was holding up the settlement.
LBJ: $35 million divided by 67 homeowners, $500,000 each, about a ballpark. What’s holding up that process?
Cantrell: That process is held up simply because it is an illegal process. We have to one, have a fair market assessment of the property and therefore offer a buyout to the resident.
Here is the full Mayor Cantrell interview segment on Gordon Plaza proposed settlements:
The figures cited by the city council are part of a Tulane University study that the administration claims is illegal. One of the issues seems to be what the city can pay above the property’s value for relocation. Councilman At-Large JP Morrell disagrees, claiming this is another stall tactic.
“Four of the seven councilmen are lawyers,” Morrell told LBJ on Wednesday. “Nothing in this process is illegal. What is evident at this point is that in every instance that we come close to making this generational wrong right, the mayor creates another obstacle. She simply does not want to give these people this money.”
The residents that live in Gordon Plaza say they’ve waited long enough, and now that the money is set aside, there should be no hold-up.
“Why you can’t take our formula and give us our check next week?” one resident asked the council.