Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 22, 2017; 6:00pm Social, 6:30pm Meeting @ St. Dominic Gym

Lakeview Civic Improvement Association

Archive for December 2015

Letter from LCIA President Joe Giarrusso III

In 2015, the LCIA Board worked hard to fight crime, clean up our parks, churn out informative newsletters, and promote neighborhood fellowship.  On a community board – such as the LCIA – the president is the first among equals.  Brian Anderson deserves gratitude and praise for his work last year.  His unwavering commitment and devotion to the community cannot be measured.  Brian's long-term accomplishments were balancing the budget and working with so many to bring crime-fighting technology into Lakeview.  Thanks also to Brian’s wife, Jan, who selflessly shared Brian so that he could throw himself into leading the LCIA.  To the Andersons, thank you for everything.

As Brian wrote last time, I am a native New Orleanian who grew up in Lakeview.  Like so many of you, Hurricane Katrina destroyed my childhood homes in west and north Lakeview.  As I wrote this article, I realized that all of my schooling was in a small bubble in and around Lakeview.  I went to St. Paul's for grammar school, then Christian Brothers for middle school, and Jesuit (I am actually not a Crusader but have many friends who are) for high school.  My sister went to Hynes and my daughters go to school there now.  My dad was a long time St. Dominic’s parishioner.  Some of my happiest memories are riding my bike down Avenue B, early morning trips to McKenzie’s, and playing in City Park.

I moved away for college in 1994, met a Baton Rouge girl in Houston in 2002, and moved back to New Orleans in 2004.  New Orleans the city will always be my home but Lakeview is my neighborhood.  When we returned in 2004, we could not afford to live in Lakeview so we moved to Broadmoor.  After the storm, we moved a few times before settling into Lakeview in September 2009.  I feel fortunate to have the unique vantage point of growing up in Lakeview in the 80s and 90s, leaving temporarily, and consciously deciding to return after Katrina.  That history helps in understanding the neighborhood’s long-standing and newer concerns.

Lakeview’s greatest asset is the people who live here.  Much of that human capital is channeled into the LCIA, which is stocked with committed, diligent, and thoughtful board members.   No matter how hard a board works to champion its members, an inadvertent communication gap may exist.  Despite best efforts, some residents may perceive themselves as outside of the communication circle.

Over the next year, our objective will be to dispel that perception.  Let’s start with the framework of formal Lakeview organizations.  Lakeview is like a three-legged stool consisting of separate yet related entities:

            1.  Lakeview Crime Prevention District (“LCPD”):  A political subdivision of the state with the sole focus of dealing with neighborhood crime;

            2.  Lakeview Civic Improvement Association (“LCIA”):  The advocacy and lifestyle arm of the neighborhood (because LCIA is not a governmental agency, it can engage in activities              that LCPD cannot); and,

            3.  Friends of Lakeview:  The primary fundraising arm of Lakeview.

With the framework in place, what about communication?  It is crystal clear that we need to double down on our external communications.  It is important that the LCIA communicate in two ways: (1) reporting regularly in the newsletter and using hard-copy circulars to promote our message and (2) beefing up our social media presence.  We are going to take an old-school and new-school approach to communication this year. [Does that make me a middle schooler? My wife would say yes. But I digress.]  Please be on the lookout for postings on social media, particularly on the LCIA’s Facebook page.  Beginning in January, we will start offering raffle opportunities there.  The LCIA will also drive more content and updates to the website.  Please stay tuned for those changes as well.

Finally, there will be a couple of small but important tweaks to the General Membership Meetings.  First, we will try to organize each General Membership Meeting around a topic or two, which will be at or near the top of the agenda.  In January, we will review the crime statistics from 2015 and hear from our state representatives about the upcoming legislative session.  Second, to increase efficiency and shorten meeting times, there will be a proposed (but flexible) time allotment for each presentation.  This should give the community some certainty about the order of meetings and how long they should last. 

On behalf of the LCIA Board, we look forward to working with you in 2016 to ensure Lakeview remains safe, welcoming, and a beacon for the City of New Orleans. 

Joseph I. Giarrusso III

Letter from LCIA President Brian Anderson

The Top 8 Things I Learned as LCIA President

On January 16, 2016 I will relinquish my position as President of LCIA to Joseph I. Giarrusso III. For those of you who don’t know Joe, let me assure you that Lakeview is in good hands. Joe is a prominent New Orleans lawyer with a stellar professional reputation and a great champion of all things Lakeview. If that doesn’t convince you, just know that he has a wonderful wife and two beautiful children who will certainly do their part to strengthen his resolve over the next 12 months. Joe attended high school at Jesuit, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from Louisiana State University. There is no doubt in my mind that Joe will do a great job, as I am certain that he has both the knowledge and wisdom to lead. That being said, I have a few suggestions/observations that may help him throughout the year.

The following are 8 things that I learned as president of LCIA:

8. Not everyone’s vision of Lakeview will match yours. You will be in a position to make decisions that could potentially affect thousands of Lakeview residents. Trust your judgment, but listen to everyone that takes the time to reach out to you. You never know if that next piece of unsolicitedadvice will be the answer that you were seeking.

7. If you can’t take the criticism, you probably shouldn’t choose to lead. When you become president, you will quickly realize that not everyone voted for you. Criticism is a natural byproduct of being in the public eye and many things that are said about you will be either unfounded or total fabrications created to support an alternate opinion. Remember why you chose to lead and know that not everyone has to like or agree with you for you to be successful.

6. Look to the past. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, reach out to past presidents for guidance and assistance. Chances are that they have encountered the same issue and may be able to provide insight that will assist you in the future.

5. Trust the people around you. Surround yourself with smart civic minded individuals and you will be fine. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and lean on these people in times of uncertainty.

4. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. There are not enough hours in a day or days in a year for one person to do it all.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Make no mistake that what you are doing for Lakeview is important and the feeling of self-accomplishment will be very rewarding. You are making a difference, but you are not the king of Lakeview (regardless of what your eight year old daughter will tell people). You are just “the next man up” following in a long line of great leaders, make your mark and pass the torch.

2. Enjoy your time as LCIA President. You will spend many long days dredging through the muck that comes with leadership. You will question yourself constantly and on occasion wonder why you chose to lead. But know in the end that every smiling face that you pass, whether they know it or not, owes you a debt of gratitude.

1. Make a Difference. LCIA has regular access to the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and multiple State Representatives. Use those resources to make Lakeview better. There may never be a better opportunity for you to spark change in your community.

P.S. It has been a pleasure serving as LCIA President this year and I will always look back fondly on the memories made and the wonderful people that worked beside me.

Thank you all for allowing me to serve.

Sincerely,

Brian E. Anderson  

Neighborhood Project Updates

Contractors have completed layout work in 95% of the Lakeview neighborhood, according to the Department of Public Works (“DPW”). This includes sidewalk demolition and restoration. Crews will continue working on pavement along 600 Polk Street, 6100 and 6200 General Diaz Street, 700 Germain Street, 600 Brooks Street, 6100 General Haig Street, 6000 Louis XIV Street, and 200 French Street.

Construction on the waterline replacements in the 6100 block of Vicksburg and the 800 block of Brooks Street are complete. The pavement above the roadway is delayed due to a broken drain.

Construction has been delayed on various blocks as a result of an increase in scope, inclement weather, as well as unforeseen underground conditions. Once the underground utilities have been replaced, the roadway work will resume. The planned scope of work in these areas includes removal and replacement of portions of the sidewalk, curb and roadway. This project is approximately 75 percent complete.

Please be advised that crews are working Monday through Friday from7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Residents should exercise caution when driving, bicycling, or walking near active construction sites.

 

Fleur De Lis Phase III

The Fleur De Lis Drive Phase III project design plans are finalized and funding is authorized. At this time, the state is currently processing a plan revision to address minor design errors and award a contract for Construction Engineering and Inspection.

The scope of work includes removing and replacing the underground sewer, water and drainage lines, replacing sidewalks, installing American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps and repaving the roadway.

Fleur de Lis III is a cost share project with 80 percent of the funding Federal (administered by the State) and 20 percent funded with City bond funds.

Prior to the Fleur De Lis Phase III construction, the DPW will host a public meeting to describe what the residents should anticipate during construction. The project is expected to begin construction in spring of 2016.

 

Lakeview Street Repairs

www.roadwork.nola.gov is the City site that maps completed, current, and planned construction projects including Sewerage and Water Board work, US COE work, DPW, and DOTD work.  Moreover,www.nola.gov/dpw provides of public works infrastructure projects encompassing paving, striping, drainage repairs, and rehabilitation of roadways funded by bond sales, Community Development Block Grants, Capital Outlay Funds, or private contributions.