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New Orleans, La. - Five dollars doesn't sound like much, but according to the East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission, five dollars per homeowner is enough to keep up the fight for the east. That money can only be collected if the fee is approved by voters on December 8th.
Ethel Williams has lived in new Orleans East for 35 years. She says she loves it there, but not as much as she used to. "New Orleans East should be a Mecca of New Orleans," said Williams. "At this point, it's a wasteland. That's how it looks."
Improving the area is the goal of the East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission. Commission leaders are hoping voters will approve the five dollar parcel fee to fund the work of ENONAC.
Sylvia Scineaux-Richard is the ENONAC President. She says ENONAC provides a unified voice for progress in the east. She says the organization takes input from the community and makes sure that input is considered as big decisions are made by the city and state.
"I say we have to protect what we value," said Scineaux-Richard. "We value our homes. We value our community. We value our quality of life. And if we want to sit and wait and hope and pray that the city gets money to give us, then that's one approach, but the more active approach is to protect our own and 5 dollars is a small fee to pay to do that."
Even so, any fee will be a hard sell when it comes to Ethel Williams. "I'm already paying a homeowners' association fee to beautify my area," she said.
She says she's "fee'd" out. She also says when it comes to fighting for the east, that's a job for the person who fills the District E Council Seat. Who will fill that seat will also be on the ballot December 8th.
ENONAC board members are not paid and they say all of the money collected through the parcel fees would go right back into fighting for progress in the east. If approved, the parcel fee would expire in four years.
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