Mayor Attempts to Withhold Tax Funds Collected for Supplemental French Quarter Security Programming

 

French Quarter Management District Calls for Continuation of the French Quarter Supplemental Police Patrol Until the April Vote

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Karley D. Frankic, Executive Director
                    French Quarter Management District

PHONE:     504-323-5801

EMAIL:       kfrankic@fqmd.org

The French Quarter Economic Development District (FQEDD) sales tax “Quarter for the Quarter” was approved by voters in 2015 for supplemental public safety in the French Quarter.  The Mayor’s office is holding $327,000 of those sales tax dollars that were previously obligated to pay for Louisiana State Police to patrol the French Quarter through 2020.  Had the City fulfilled its obligations of fiscal transparency with the sales tax revenue collection and spending, the public would have known that the Mayor was holding these funds that were obligated to pay for supplemental public safety in the French Quarter.

 

On Dec. 5, French Quarter residents overwhelmingly voted to reject the Mayor’s sales tax renewal ballot due to the lack of transparency in the Mayor’s plan and the lack of commitment to use only POST certified officers for security patrols.  The withholding of the $327,000 of tax dollars by the Mayor’s office is another example of the lack of transparency with tax dollars managed by City Hall. 

 

The French Quarter Management District (FQMD) is determined to provide transparency to the residents, business owners, visitors of the French Quarter community.  When FQMD and stakeholders learned of $327,000 of “Quarter for the Quarter” tax dollars in the FQEDD Trust Fund this past week, they requested the Mayor release the funds to keep FQMD’s Supplemental Police Patrol Program (SPPP) running until voters are able to vote on a revised ballot for the renewal of the FQEDD sales tax on April 24th. 

 

Since voters rejected the Mayor’s tax renewal in December, the French Quarter Management District has reached out to the Mayor’s office continuously to negotiate a long-term Cooperative Endeavor Agreement to continue the Supplemental Police Patrol Program after the April vote, and the Mayor’s office has yet to answer the call for a meeting, remaining focused on the agenda of the Mayor and not of the voters.  

 

In 2015 FQMD stepped up to manage the supplemental blue light patrol that was paid for by the hospitality industry under a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City of New Orleans.  This was necessary was because the crime rate was alarmingly high in the French Quarter, the police department was understaffed, and the city was unable to fulfill one of its most basic obligations which is to keep its citizens and visitors safe.  For the past six years the FQMD has run a successful, transparent program with no help from the City’s annual operating budget.  In December of last year FQMD publicly stated that we would keep the patrols running until the funding for patrols was exhausted. The tax dollars available from the FQEDD tax, and currently held by the City, will keep the patrols running until the April tax renewal.  

 

The French Quarter Management District Supplemental Police Patrol Program patrols the French Quarter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2020 SPPP officers:

  • Responded to 2,817 App and Dispatch Calls for Service
  • Made 5,050 Citizen contacts
  • Conducted 2,543 business checks
  • Made 129Arrests & Apprehensions
  • Wrote 346Summons’ & Traffic Citations
  • And maintained 5 Vehicles that patrolled 59,441 miles

Since taking on the supplemental NOPD proactive detail patrols in 2015, the FQMD SPPP has

  • Responded to 36,317 App and Dispatch Calls for Service
  • Made 1,557Arrests & Apprehensions
  • Wrote 3,038Summons’ & Traffic Citations
  • And patrolled 345,789

The initiative has been credited by the NOPD as having a positive impact on violent crime, including the removal of guns, drugs, and criminals from the French Quarter.

The FQMD Board of Commissioners represent a diverse group of stakeholders who live, work, own property and/or businesses in the French Quarter, all of which are vested in protecting and improving the vitality, security and infrastructure of this gem of a neighborhood that supports the livelihood of our region’s residents, the City and the State.

The FQMD works to:

  • Improve public safety, foster quality experiences, and enhance quality of life within the District
  • Improve commercial and residential vitality
  • Strengthen the District as a vital component of Louisiana’s tourism industry
  • Aid in the preservation of the District’s architecture, quaint charm, and tout ensemble
  • Beautify the District’s appearance

If you would like more information about the French Quarter Management District, please contact, Karley D. Frankic at 504-323-5801 or kfrankic@fqmd.org

The French Quarter Management District is a state entity created by the Louisiana Legislature as a means for the residential and business communities to work together to protect, preserve and maintain the world-famous French Quarter as a safe, clean, vibrant and friendly neighborhood for residents, businesses, and visitors.

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400 North Peters Street, Suite 206, New Orleans, LA, 70130


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