But there's a lot more than just the cameras involved. Even without the surveillance measure, the ordinance furthers the move to shut down certain kinds of neighborhood corner bars, groceries, and music venues which has gathered momentum in the post-Katrina years. The Louisiana Restaurant Association identifies some of these concerns in a recent T-P article.
So, as we already mentioned, we're starting to suspect the surveillance provision may have been thrown in as a distraction, or at least as a bargaining chip with which to buy off further opposition. Eventually they're going to pass something. Having the fight over the cameras now only serves to make whatever they do pass look like reasonable compromise. Or to put that in LaToya Cantrell's verbiage, they will say they "listened to the community" and figured out how to "find balance." Balance being a still very shitty crackdown on ABO permits.
Cantrell, who was previously quoted by WWLTV beaming over the NOPD facility meant for monitoring the proposed cameras, has been less vocally supportive as of late. Her most recent comment, issued through a spokesperson, defers the matter entirely.
David Winkler-Schmit, a spokesman for Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, the mayor-elect, offered no objections to putting off the surveillance and strip club proposals. He said Cantrell deferred to Landrieu on his surveillance plan and to Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey on the strip club issue because Bourbon Street is in her district.Way to show some leadership on a controversial issue, Madam Mayor.
Eventually she'll have to take some sort of position. When that happens, it's not difficult to imagine her falling back on her familiar appeal to "balance" we've been listening to her make for years now. If the new ordinance passes, who determines which bars need to be shut down in order to find the balance? Well, that will be LaToya, of course.
The ordinance contains an emergency suspension provision, allowing the mayor, the police chief or the ABO Board chairman the ability to suspend a permit. That suspension would occur if any of those three people believe the operation "endangers the health, safety and welfare of the community."And how will Mayor LaToya unilaterally determine which businesses "endanger the health, safety and welfare of the community?" I'm willing to bet it won't be any of the businesses currently paying rent to her contributors.