Thursday, May 28, 2009

So somebody is jerking the public around. Here’s a brief time line of events surrounding the Lyon’s Pool:
April 21, 2009, Day 0
2 Suspects were arrested for theft of copper at Lyons Center

April 30, 2009 – Day 9
2nd District Email blast from Major Little about arrests sent to Public via Google Groups

May 11, 2009 – Day 20
Irish Channel N.A. hears rumors about extent of vandalism and the possibility that the pool will not open this summer.

May 12, 2009 – Day 21
1st Email Sent to Councilman Fielkow and Councilwoman Head asking them to inquire about Lyons pool. These inquiries are forwarded to NORD and others for follow up.

May 14, 2009 – Day 23
NORD Dep. Director makes presentation to ICNA regarding NORD programs. He makes a statement regarding the Lyons Center Pool. “Mr. Barabino asked that I give a status of the Lyons Center Pool.” He further states that the pool is expected to open by “June 1”

May 22, 2009 – Day 31
NORD Director and Capital Projects Administrator address status of Lyons Center pool at a City Council subcommittee meeting. They state that they expect the pool to open by 2nd week of June. NORD was awaiting Entergy to install a pole to provide power to the pool pumps, at which time they could test the pumps. It was also reported the center had been broken into earlier that week and one person arrested. At the same public meeting a petition was presented to NORD Director and Councilman Fielkow with 196 signatures from neighbors asking that Lyons Center be opened. All signatures collected in less than 2 weeks.

May 26, 2009 – Day 35
Press Release from NORD Director and Capital Projects Administrator state “targeted a late summer date to open Lyons Center pool”.

We just want to know the real story. Several emails were sent in response to the May 26th press release asking why Friday the 22nd it was said the pool would be open in June, and now on the 26th it won’t be open until the end of summer. What good is opening the pool at the end of summer? And what transpired between Friday May 22 and Tuesday, May 26th? There was a Saturday, and Sunday and Memorial day in between these two days.

Part of the press release that addressed Lyon’s Pool:

Mayor's Press Office
City of New Orleans
1300 Perdido Street, Suite 2E04
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Official Statement
May 26, 2009


Unfortunately last month, the Lyons Center was damaged as a result of copper theft. The facility has been secured and further security measures, are being evaluated at this time. Understandably, the theft and resulting damages, have delayed NORD's plans to reopen the Lyons pool in June, but, NORD and Capitol Projects will continue to move forward with repairs and have targeted a late summer date to open Lyons Center pool.

----- Original Message -----
From: Arnie Fielkow
To: William M. Chrisman; Larry Barabino, Jr.
Cc: Jackie B. Clarkson; Shelley S. Midura; Stacy Head; James Carter; Cynthia H. Morrell; Cynthia Williard-Lewis; Deborah J. Langhoff; Eric Granderson; Katherine R. Schneiderman
Sent: Tue May 26 17:48:53 2009
Subject: Fw: Official Statement NORD and Capitol Projects

The lyons opening is inconsistent with the public testimony bill provided friday to the youth and rec comm. At that hearing, it was represented lyons would be open in mid june. How could your position have changed in 4 days? This is a major setback for the community!

----- Original Message -----
From: Brenda G. Hatfield
To: Arnie Fielkow
Cc: Jackie B. Clarkson; Cynthia H. Morrell; Shelley S. Midura; Stacy Head; '' ; ; Ray Nagin; '' ; Larry Barabino, Jr.; William M. Chrisman; Deborah J. Langhoff; Eric Granderson; Katherine R. Schneiderman; Pamela S. Smith
Sent: Tue May 26 19:36:22 2009
Subject: NORD press release

Councilmember Fielkow:
Regarding your reprimand to Larry Barabino and Bill Chrisman today, wouldn’t it seem rational for them to promise a more reasonable date of late summer to open Lyons’ pool after gathering more capital repair information -- so as not to disappoint the community while aiming for mid June? Even doing our best, it sometimes takes longer than anticipated.

Can you give some credit for nine pools being ready to open along with 84 parks and playgrounds for recreation, cultural and educational programs for our youth, seniors and families to enjoy this summer?

----- Original Message -----
From: Arnie Fielkow []
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:58 PM
To: Brenda G. Hatfield
Cc: Jackie B. Clarkson; Cynthia H. Morrell; Shelley S. Midura; Stacy Head;; Cynthia Williard-Lewis; Ray Nagin;; Larry Barabino, Jr.; William M. Chrisman; Deborah J. Langhoff; Eric Granderson; Katherine R. Schneiderman; Pamela S. Smith;
Subject: Re: NORD press release

Brenda, I am truly sorry you see it that way. There was no reprimand but rather a statement that there is little credibility when a senior official (and I think bill does an excellent job!) makes a public committment and then 4 days later the administration says something very different. The neighborhood leaders who were present on friday are pretty frustrated with this situation given the importance of the lyons center and the fact that this matter could have been averted with appropriate security. Even this past friday, I had to call the nord director because a door to the center was wide open when I passed by.....many kudos and thanks were extended to bill and larry friday for improving the facility issues and working closely with fema to close the reimbursement disparity.....I believe the community deserved a straight answer on this one but they can weigh in directly with you.

At this time, we wait for any further clarification on the matter.

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