Voters approve rule change giving New Orleans council power to confirm or deny mayoral appointees
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans voters on Election Day approved a significant change to the city’s Home Rule Charter. With 60% of the vote in favor of the change, the City Council will now have the power to confirm or deny any mayoral appointees.
The new rule means the city’s top leaders can no longer be hand-selected by the mayor alone. Those appointees will have to appear before the City Council to receive final approval.
Police and fire departments are among 14 departments affected by the city charter.
“The council’s been very vocal about their complaints that appointments will come in. The council won’t even be introduced to them. Next thing you know, they’re over these departments and the public doesn’t know anything about who’s leading these departments,” says City Council President Helena Moreno.
“I am not particularly supportive of the strong mayoral forms of government the city utilizes. We are one of the most mayor-centric cities in the entire state of Louisiana, if not the country,” says Councilman JP Morrell.
Officials currently serving in Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration will not be affected by the Charter change. Anyone appointed after Jan. 1 will have to be confirmed by the City Council.
“In January, our Home Rule Charter will change. This change will require the New Orleans City Council to approve the appointment of 14 department directors going forward. In my role as Mayor, I will continue to put forth highly qualified candidates for these positions in order to best serve our residents and I look forward to engagement between my administration and the City Council through the appointment process,” Mayor Cantrell said in a statement.
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