While local group calls for Landrieu to step down, decision to resign rests solely on him

While local group calls for Landrieu to step down, decision to resign rests solely on him

New Orleans - The recent efforts to get New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to resign look to be in vain because of his short time left in office and the lack of legal avenues.

On the steps of New Orleans City Hall Friday, the newly formed group, the Unnamed Steering Committee, blasted Landrieu for his response to problems at the Sewerage and Water Board and demanded he and executive director Cedric Grant step down immediately.

"I don't think any of us thought that the crime wave we're experiencing could be taken over by another issue, but clearly it has," resident Adrian Bruneau said.

"People who we're putting in office have failed us," resident Kim Ford said. "We can no longer expect that what our tax dollars are paying for is what it's supposed to do because it's been proven that that's not happening."

Grant will retire at the end of hurricane season.

The New Orleans mayoral election is scheduled for October and a possible run-off election in November, but Mayor Landrieu will remain in office until May 2018.

Senator John Kennedy wants Landrieu step down once a new mayor is elected.

But in a statement, a spokesman with Landrieu's office said, "The mayor was elected by the people of New Orleans to serve until May 2018 and will do so."

Fox 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman said at this point the only person that would be able to get Mayor Landrieu out of office before his term is up is the mayor himself.

"It's important to separate fact from fiction. Mitch Landrieu is our mayor until May of next year. Any political statements right now are just pure politics. there is no precedent or process for that to happen," Sherman said.

The online group NolaSmarterInauguration.org is gathering names for a petition effort to move the swearing in of the next mayor to January, but Orleans League of Women Voters' Rosalind Blanco-Cook said that effort is in vain.

"It is too late. How government runs is you would have had to have gotten that on the ballot and to have gotten that on the ballot you would have had to probably had to start working to get it on the ballot about a year ago," Blanco-Cook said.

The New Orleans mayoral elections used to be in December with a run-off in January, but in 2011, LWV worked with state legislators to move the election away from the holidays and the busy time during the New Year and Sugar Bowl celebrations.

LWV attempted to move next year's inauguration to January, but the effort to do that was delayed by the Landrieu administration, according to Blanco-Cook.

"As many know if you're trying to change laws or bring bills before the legislature or get changes, it takes quite some time and some times it's individuals who are concerned more about their own own political careers," she said.

The next mayor of New Orleans will have a shorter term because LWV was successful in making the inauguration in 2022 to happen in January.

Blanco-Cook said she hopes the person elected as the next mayor will use that time to transition into the position and find a qualified staff.

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