City Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey on Thursday (March 24) made no apologies for supporting a plan to demolish the Canal Street ferry terminal, a decision some of her constituents say will make it more difficult for them to get to work. But it was clear that she was playing defense after one key opponent said neighborhood groups tried and failed to get Ramsey to oppose the plan for its lack of a pedestrian connection.Maybe she should have checked with the Mayor first.
"I've heard comments that this is being built for tourists. That's crap," Ramsey said Thursday ahead of the City Council's vote on demolition. "Any conversation or any comment that includes any indication that I am not protecting my district or protecting Algiers can kindly leave because I know the work I've done for Algiers for my district and that I'll continue to do."
(Kristin Gisleson) Palmer said that many of the comments about the terminal being built for tourists are rooted in concern over remarks Mayor Mitch Landrieu made during a private meeting with stakeholders on Monday. The mayor was asked why funding was weighted so heavily in favor of a $5 million terminal building with no funds included for a pedestrian bridge.Of course Guidry can say these things because she's retiring now and doesn't have to answer to any "very big companies" anymore. Ramsey is in a different position.
"He clearly stated that this is for the 8 million tourists that are going down there every year," Palmer said. The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request seeking confirmation of the comment.
But the perception of a tourist-focused terminal located next to a proposed Four Seasons hotel did seem to carry weight with at least one City Council member. Councilwoman Susan Guidry said she agreed with opponents who raised the concerns about the $5 million building, saying, "it had to be a conscious decision not to have those elements for the sake of having a very beautiful building."
"That's not right," Guidry said. "I just think we need to put these things on the table. That was just not right to design it that way and that is obviously a design to suit the desires of very big companies ... and to look good for tourists. That just needs to be said."