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Baton Rouge Press Releases



Press Releases from East Baton Rouge Parish



Copyright: Copyright 2006 City-Parish of East Baton Rouge
 



Mayor Broome Introduces Resolution Opposing Rent Charged to FEMA MHU Occupants

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Broome Introduces Resolution Opposing Rent Charged to FEMA MHU Occupants

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 19, 2018 — Mayor Broome has introduced a resolution to the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council opposing FEMA’s decision to charge rent to citizens still occupying a Manufactured Housing Unit as a result of the August 2016 flood. FEMA issued a decision in November 2017 extending Direct Housing Assistance and the use of MHUs to homeowners and renters until May 15, 2018. In that approval, FEMA also outlined that all eligible occupants who remain in FEMA MHU’s between February 14, 2018 and the new deadline will be charged rent.

The resolution being introduced by Mayor Broome opposes charging rent to residents who are still in the midst of rebuilding their homes and working toward their recovery.

“I am grateful for the extension for residents to continue utilizing FEMA MHU's as they continue their recovery,” said Broome. “But to charge rent to our citizens who are not in these MHUs by their own choice is unfathomable. As Mayor-President, I want to be on record in conjunction with the state in opposing this decision to charge rent.”

The resolution outlines that citizens in recovery have experienced hardships with rebuilding for a number of reasons, such as complications with accessing funds, contractor availability, supply of building materials, contractor fraud, limited affordable rental housing units, and landlord leasing requirements.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome to Sign Fast-Track Cities Treaty at HIV Summit

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA. — January 18, 2018 — On Saturday, January 20, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome will host an HIV Summit at the BRCC Magnolia Theatre from 8:30am — 1:30pm. The Summit will be led by Mayor Broome, Natalie Cooley of the Louisiana Department of Health, and 94.1 Radio Host Latangela Sherman. The event will include panel discussions and presentations by physicians, HIV peer advocates, and prevention specialists.

The HIV Summit will bring together local, state, national, and international HIV partners to discuss the state of HIV in Baton Rouge and educate the community on prevention and treatment.

The Mayor will also sign the Fast-Track Cities Treaty. The Fast-Track Cities Initiative is a global partnership between UNAIDS, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, whose aim is to address the following targets:

90 percent of all people living with HIV (PLHIV) will know their status

90 percent of all PLHIV will receive sustained Anti-Retroviral Therapy

90 percent of all PLHIV on ART will have durable viral suppression

The Fast-Track Cities Initiative offers Baton Rouge and other cities with a high burden of HIV the opportunity to build upon, strengthen, and leverage existing HIV programs and strengthen the local AIDS response. New Orleans is currently participating in the initiative.

The Fast-Track Cities Initiative is aligned with the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy for ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

For more information on the HIV Summit, contact Jared Hymowitz, Director of Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, at JHYMOWITZ@brgov.com.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish Offices to Reopen Friday

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA. — January 18, 2018 — Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that City-Parish government offices would reopen on Friday, January 19. Garbage and recycling collection will also resume tomorrow.

Extended hours for residential garbage services will be offered on Saturday, January 20 and Monday, January 22 to accommodate customers who’s service days were cancelled due to weather conditions.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish Offices to Remain Closed Thursday (1/18/2018)

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA. — January 17, 2018 — Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that City-Parish government offices will remain closed Thursday, January 18.

“With Interstate-10 remaining closed to traffic through tonight, hazardous driving conditions on some of our bridges and surface streets, and tonight’s temperatures forecast in the teens, we are closing City-Parish government offices tomorrow," said Mayor Broome. "We continue to advise citizens to stay off of roads unless absolutely necessary.”

Additionally, Thursday’s residential garbage and recycling collection will be suspended. Extended hours for residential garbage services will be offered on Saturday, January 20 and Monday, January 22 to accommodate customers who’s service days were cancelled due to weather conditions.

Mayor Broome urges residents to stay safe and warm as Baton Rouge braces for another night of below freezing temperatures. On Tuesday, Mayor Broome activated the Crisis Action Team at the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, with crews monitoring weather and road conditions around the clock. Crews have been working to distribute de-icing products on roads, bridges and airport runways.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Issues Statement on Closure of Sam's Club

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

STATEMENT BY THE MAYOR-PRESIDENT

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 12, 2018 — My office was informed yesterday of the closure of Sam’s Club at 9598 Cortana Place. Sam's Club is closing 63 stores nationwide, attributing the decision to the need to better fulfill online orders, less population growth than expected in some markets, and too many competing locations.

I reached out to Sam's Club and am committed to working closely with their team to develop and execute a transition strategy. Our goal is to ensure that all 176 displaced employees are either transferred to nearby Sam's Clubs or Walmarts or are assisted with job placement and/or training.

I am also involved in a number of conversations regarding the revival of the property at Cortana Mall. It has great potential to be a catalyst for economic development in our parish. There are obviously many shifts taking place in the retail industry nationally, but we are fortunate that we continue to have a growing retail base here in Baton Rouge.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Issues Statement on Buckskin ''Bill'' Black

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 12, 2018 — I am deeply saddened by the loss of the beloved Buckskin Bill, Mr. William “Bill” Black. So many in our community have fond memories of Buckskin Bill and his cherished television program. Not only did he delight generations of Baton Rouge children by giving them their first opportunity to appear on television, he did so while providing some of the first multimedia educational materials in the country and teaching the importance of charity and community.

He was a man ahead of his time and lived his life demonstrating that it is the community’s central mission to take care of each other. On behalf of our community, my thoughts and love go out to his children and family. I think we should all continue to practice his famed advice, “you’re never completely dressed until you put on a smile.”

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor-President Broome Announces Women’s Advancement Commission

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Mayor-President Broome Announces Women’s Advancement Commission

Commission to address needs of women and girls of East Baton Rouge Parish

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 11, 2018 — Today Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the creation of her Women’s Advancement Commission which will promote policies and services that address and respond to the needs of women in our community.

From promoting pay equity to preventing sexual assault, increasingly our society is aware of gender-based gaps, disparities, and inequalities. The commission will also explore opportunities to improve the lives and status of women and girls in East Baton Rouge Parish through public policy, service delivery, and the promotion of cultural norms that advance equity, equality, and safety.

“Women are joining forces nationwide to address gender inequality issues, and their voices are being heard,” said Mayor-President Broome. “When I took office, I pledged to listen, learn, and lead. The advancement of women is critical to the success of our city and is certainly a priority of my administration.”

Commission members will use their expertise to consider how City-Parish government can promote policies and services that address the needs of women and their families in our parish.

Commission members include: Dr. Shon Baker, Dimi Ghawi, Twahna Harris, Rachael Hebert, Valerie Jackson-Jones, Mary Moss, Dianna Payton, Leah Phillips, John Price, Dr. Shanta Proctor, Dr. Valerie Richardson, Jan Ross, Summer Steib, Deborah Sternberg, and Yao Zeng.

The inaugural meeting of the Women’s Advancement Commission will be held on Wednesday, January 31 at 10:00 am. Subsequent meetings will be held monthly in the Office of the Mayor-President.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tamiara Wade, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, at 225-389-3100.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome Administration Announces Two New Hires

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFor media inquiries:Rachel HaneyChief Communications Officerrhaney@brgov.com Desk: 225-389-7957 Mobile: 504-920-9569 Broome Administration Announces Two New HiresMayor-President Broome officially announces Veneeth Iyengar as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Rachel Haney as Chief Communications Officer BATON ROUGE, LA — January 3, 2018 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is pleased to announce two new additions to her administration. As of today, the Mayor-President announces Veneeth Iyengar as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Rachel Haney as Chief Communications Officer. “I am excited to announce that Veneeth and Rachel are joining the administration as we begin the new year,” Mayor-President Broome said. “I am confident that their diverse skill sets will complement our strong team and deliver bold, new ideas to advance the mission of my administration.” Mr. Iyengar's portfolio includes issues pertaining to economic development, transportation, and healthcare. He received a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Purdue University in 2001 and served in the United State Peace Corps shortly after 9/11 where he was stationed in the Philippines handling economic development issues. He subsequently earned the Franklin Williams Award for outstanding achievement in the Peace Corps. The son of Indian immigrants who moved to Baton Rouge in 1979, he has deep family ties to Baton Rouge. He completed his K-12 education at area schools including McKinley Middle Magnet and Baton Rouge Magnet High School. After obtaining a Masters in Finance from Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Iyengar worked for the Honorable Robert Mosbacher, Jr., former CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in Washington, D.C. before joining Sage Growth Partners where he helped build and lead their Healthcare Venture Capital/Private Equity Practice. “The greatest resource Baton Rouge has to chart a path into the 21st century is its people. This opportunity is a chance to honor my commitment to public service by investing in the growth and potential of our human capital through diverse and inclusive policies,” Veneeth Iyengar said. “The chance to serve my hometown has been a lifelong dream and I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and delivering results.” Ms. Haney, the Mayor-President’s new Chief Communications Officer, will manage a comprehensive and proactive communications strategy for the City of Baton Rouge. A native of Baton Rouge, Ms. Haney is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and Louisiana State University’s Manship School where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Prior to joining the Broome Administration, she worked for Robin & Associates, a government relations firm specializing in healthcare, infrastructure, and public utilities. Ms. Haney previously directed public relations and social media strategies for The National WWII Museum in New Orleans where she secured international media coverage for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. She also handled media relations efforts for Greater New Orleans, Inc., The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, and the Let’s Be Totally Clear Campaign for Tobacco Free Living in Louisiana. “I am honored to join the Broome administration to help develop a communications strategy focused on clearly conveying our mission to all residents of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Rachel Haney. “I look forward to applying my experience in the private sector to an administration dedicated to building a brighter future for my hometown.” ###(from the office of: Mayor-President) [...]



Murphy Paul to be sworn in as new Baton Rouge Police Chief

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 2, 2018

For media inquiries:

Regine Williams

frwilliams@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-4222

Mobile: 318-537-0929

Murphy Paul to be sworn in as new Baton Rouge Police Chief

BATON ROUGE, LA. — Murphy Paul, recently selected by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome to be Chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department, will be officially sworn in on Monday, January 8. The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. in the Metro Council Chambers of City Hall.

Paul was one of seven candidates publically interviewed by Mayor-President Broome’s chief selection review committee. He subsequently made the final round of interviews and was ultimately selected to lead the capital city’s police force. Paul, a native of New Orleans, holds a degree in criminal justice from Loyola University. He joined the Louisiana State Police in 1994 and became a lieutenant colonel, where he most recently served as the deputy superintendent of the Bureau of Investigation. During his years of service with LSP, he was assigned to narcotics, internal affairs, detectives, criminal intelligence and patrol.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome Issues Preventive Tips Regarding Influenza

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 1, 2018

For media inquiries:

Regine Williams

FRWILLIAMS@BRGOV.COM

Desk: 225-389-4222

Mobile: 318-537-0929

Mayor Broome Issues Preventive Tips Regarding Influenza

BATON ROUGE, La. — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, in collaboration with local healthcare partners, are providing citizens with preventive tips and information about the current high incidence rate of the flu in our community.

“I encourage all citizens and visitors in the Capital Region to protect themselves and others from the flu,” Mayor-President Broome said. To protect yourself I stress the importance of getting the flu shot if they haven’t already, by talking with their healthcare provider about preventive measures, and also by following common sense tips like staying home when sick, washing their hands often, and covering coughs and sneezes.”

Flu season is typically from October to May, with peak months during January and February, and causes nearly 3,000 hospitalizations per year in Louisiana. Primary symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throats, runny nose, cough and congestion.

Experts say that if a person comes down with the flu, they are contagious before showing symptoms. They are encouraged to stay home to avoid spreading the flu to family or co-workers. If someone in the household has the flu, every other member of the household is encouraged to take precaution and contact their healthcare provider.

According to Suzy Sonnier, Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Health District, all hospital partners in this area are reporting more flu cases this year than in the past. Local hospitals are actively taking precautions to educate employees and the public in order to decrease flu exposure.

“We encourage everyone to use caution and common sense,” said Sonnier "Take care of yourself and if you are not feeling well, seek assistance from your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Be thoughtful and limit unnecessary interactions with others to prevent further spread of the flu."

Mayor-President Broome also encourages all businesses, schools and organizations to promote flu precautions to employees and members, as we all want to ensure our community remains healthy.

“We have more access than ever before to primary care, urgent care and emergency room care if needed,” said Mayor Broome. “By working together as a community and following recommended precautions we can help take care of one another.”

Recommended preventive tips to prevent the spreading of influenza:

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze-throw the tissue away after use.

- If you get the flu try to avoid contact with others.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water.

- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth to avoid the spread of germs.

These actions can help prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory viruses during cold and flu season.

It is not too late to get the flu shot, even though this year it may not be as effective and people could still be at risk. With the flu shot, even if a person gets the flu, the vaccine helps prevent the severity of the symptoms.

Many pharmacies and doctors' offices have the flu vaccine. The HealthMap Vaccine Finder (www.vaccinefinder.org) can help you locate a flu vaccine provider near you.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Metro Council Approves 2018 Budget

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2017

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-913-9638

Metro Council Approves 2018 Budget

BATON ROUGE, La. — The East Baton Rouge Metro Council today approved Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s 2018 budget. The General Fund operating budget of $319 million has less than a 1 percent increase and is considered “standstill.”

“While this budget has not changed much from last year, we will continue to work diligently on behalf of the citizens that we serve daily,” Mayor-President Broome said. “We will collaborate with like-minded stakeholders and agencies to not only maintain services but improve the efficiency of such.”

Prior to today’s vote, Mayor-President Broome met with the councilmembers in small groups and discussed funding for police and fire academies, as well as the replacement of police and fire vehicles. Efforts are also being prioritized to increase entry-level pay for police officers.

Revenue collection efforts will also be increased. It has been cited that these have been complicated due to the effects of the August 2016 flood.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




MOHSEP Monitoring Potential Freezing Conditions, Offers Tips for Residents

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 6, 2017

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Monitoring Potential Freezing Conditions, Offers Tips for Residents

BATON ROUGE, La. — The National Weather Service in Slidell has issued an advisory for East Baton Rouge Parish regarding the potential for winter weather and freezing temperatures. Forecasts are predicting a slight chance of snow flurries and a high chance of freezing temperatures. Winter precipitation will potentially occur Thursday night into Friday morning. Freezing temperatures are likely Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning. At this time, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has not called for any closures or event cancellations in the parish. The Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) is continuing to monitor the situation.

MOHSEP stressed that residents should check on neighbors and family members who may need assistance, and take care of their pets accordingly. Those who use heaters and fireplaces should be careful, including keeping children away from hot surfaces. A fire extinguisher should be ready for use as well.

Other tips include:

• Check family disaster supply kits to ensure they are prepared for the winter.

• Bring pets inside.

• Protect, cover or wrap water pipes.

• Protect plants as necessary.

• Ensure proper ventilation for fuel-burning equipment.

• Refuel heating sources outside.

• Test smoke detectors.

For more information, contact MOHSEP at 225-389-2100. Also, go to Redstickready and follow Red Stick Ready on social media for real-time updates and more tips. The free Red Stick Ready app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Executive Order to Expand Small Business Participation in City-Parish Contracts

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 13, 2017

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mayor-President Broome Issues Executive Order

to Expand Small Business Participation in City-Parish Contracts

BATON ROUGE, La. — In accordance with her commitment to equitable progress and prosperity across East Baton Rouge Parish, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today issued an executive order to expand efforts to increase the enterprise participation of small businesses in City-Parish contracts. The order also ensures that such businesses — including those owned by minorities, women and veterans — are afforded fair opportunities and do not face unfair barriers when seeking and performing City-Parish contracts.

“This executive order is much needed in our city and parish,” Mayor-President Broome said. “I have been consistently vocal and demonstrative about the need for equity in all areas of life in our community, and this includes business. Everyone should have equal opportunities to build and grow successful businesses in the place they call home. These businesses add to our economic development, and a diverse array of business owners creates a more welcoming, progressive city for both current and future residents.”

The order, which takes effect immediately, outlines accountability, inclusion and outreach efforts, and policy administration and operation in City-Parish departments. Stakeholder engagement is also prescribed, instructing the chief administrative officer in the Office of the Mayor-President to create more opportunities for members of the contracting community and for City-Parish departments, the Metropolitan Council, and others to work collaboratively on recommendations for how the City-Parish can better develop, deliver, monitor and measure a more successful small business enterprise program.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Baton Rouge Ranked Fifth Most Digital City in U.S. Among Mid-sized Cities

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 9, 2017For media inquiries only, contact:Janene Tate, Communications Directorjtate@brgov.comDesk: 225-389-7957Baton Rouge Ranked Fifth Most Digital City in U.S. Among Mid-sized CitiesBATON ROUGE, La. – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today announced that Baton Rouge has been named the fifth most digital city in the U.S. by the Center for Digital Government among cities with a population of 125,000 to 249,999. This distinction comes as the result of a competitive process that annually recognizes top-ranked cities demonstrating progress and capabilities across ten key characteristics of a digital city.“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in such a visible way among so many other leading digital cities in the nation,” said Mayor-President Broome. “Moving forward, my entire administration remains focused on and committed to identifying ways to invest in our digital infrastructure and create a more effective and efficient City-Parish government for our citizens – using technology and innovation wherever possible to do so.”Other cities named to the Top 10 Digital City list within this population category – the third largest considered by the Center for Digital Government – include Cape Coral, Florida, Norfolk, Virginia, Scottsdale, Arizona, Pasadena, California, and Alexandria, Virginia, among others. Several key technology and digital initiatives that have taken place in 2017 were instrumental in this ranking, including the significant progress made through the broad use of GIS and integration of GIS capabilities across all facets of City-Parish government; the City-Parish’s expanded partnership with Waze in collaboration with Louisiana State University to analyze real-time Waze traffic data; Mayor-President Broome’s expansion of the body camera program to the entire Baton Rouge Police Department force; and the implementation of a streamlined workflow management system to support more efficient and accountable service delivery across public works agencies. Other internal measures undertaken to improve government efficiency include the launch of an enterprise resource planning system to replace disparate 20-year-old systems and an internal analysis of telecommunications service utilization and contracts that resulted in achieving real-dollar savings of $200,000 over a 12-month period.In addition, a number of related initiatives related to expanded use of technology within City-Parish government remain ongoing, such as an effort currently underway to redesign the City-Parish website with a mobile-first strategy for citizen engagement, a recently announced National Science Foundation research grant secured by Louisiana State University in collaboration with Mayor-President Broome to build research-driven solutions to issues such as blight and traffic, and efforts such as developing and adopting a formal open data policy and establishing data-based outcomes and performance metrics that continue to progress through the City-Parish’s partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the What Works Cities program.“This year’s leading digital cities are leveraging technology to connect disadvantaged citizens with critical information and services, promote citizen inclusion in important government processes and share government data with the public,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens can now meaningfully interact with city government more easily than in any other time in history. Congratulations to the winners!”For 17 years, the Digital Cities Survey has provided an annual measure of city performance and innovati[...]



Mayor-President Broome Releases Draft Open Data Policy for Public Comment

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, La. — In keeping with her commitment to government transparency and data-driven decision making, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today released a draft open data policy for the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge and announced the availability of the draft policy for public comment. The policy is a direct byproduct of the City-Parish’s work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sunlight Foundation through the What Works Cities program that began earlier this year with a focus on enhancing the use of data and evidence in local government. “I am excited to take our Open Data BR program to an entirely new level through the introduction of this open data policy,” Mayor-President Broome said. “It is my sincere hope that by taking this latest step in public transparency in our City-Parish government that we continue to demonstrate accountability to our citizens and identify new ways to utilize data that create efficiencies, spur innovation, and catalyze growth.” The purpose of this and related policy measures is to expand the City-Parish’s open data program and make all publishable City-Parish data and information easily available to the public, thereby helping to improve service delivery, increase transparency and access to public information, and enhance coordination and efficiency among departments, partner organizations, and residents. In March, Mayor-President Broome announced the launch of the Open Neighborhood BR platform, located at http://my.brla.gov. The platform serves as a digital resource for Baton Rouge residents that provides residents with up-to-date, map-based information on recent incidents involving City-Parish agencies — from recent police, fire, and traffic incidents to 311 requests for service and building permits. This policy will serve to continue that work and ensure the City-Parish establishes its commitment transparency and open data. All residents and members of the public are encouraged to review the draft policy and provide comments via https://mymadison.io/documents/baton-rouge-open-data-policy no later than Nov. 24. The City-Parish is seeking feedback on the governance and processes that the policy will define for the release of open data in the future. The platform is a free, open-source tool that allows users to support or oppose the open data policy text, leave comments, annotate specific content, and interact with other Baton Rouge residents on the proposed policy. All comments submitted by the Nov. 24 deadline will be reviewed closely and considered for incorporation by the Office of the Mayor-President and Department of Information Services. Once all public comments have been received and incorporated or addressed as necessary, Mayor-President Broome will submit the final proposed policy to the Metropolitan Council for formal adoption and a resolution expressing the support of its implementation. The Office of the Mayor-President will then work with all relevant City-Parish departments to ensure ongoing compliance with the related policy requirements, with data to published to the City-Parish’s Open Data BR portal located at http://data.brla.gov. When formally adopted, this open data policy will help to spur additional innovative uses of data beyond Open Neighborhood BR that help to better connect residents with information on the government services they receive, as well as internal applications that help City-Parish departments make better decisions and create more efficient operations in the process. (from the office of: Mayor-President) [...]



Mayor-President Broome Issues Executive Order on Local Industrial Tax Exemption Program

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, La. — In response to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ 2016 executive order on Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program granting exemption authorization to local governing bodies, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today issued an executive order on behalf of East Baton Rouge Parish. The order is to provide an effective way to handle local review for exemptions for Industrial Tax Exemptions in the parish.

“I applaud Governor Edwards’ effort to provide local control over these exemptions that directly affect the finances of our local communities,” Mayor-President Broome said. “While the exemptions serve as a business development tool, they also have a large effect on the revenue bases for almost all local services. With local control comes the responsibility for us to have an orderly process to evaluate the exemption request on a cost benefit basis.”

Prior to both executive orders, local governments in Louisiana had little control over whether to grant tax exemptions, which sometimes affected funding for school boards, law enforcement and other city services. The executive order for East Baton Rouge Parish will take effect on Oct. 30, 2017.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor-President Broome, Businesses Continue to Support Third-Party Permit Reviews

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 CST

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mayor-President Broome, Businesses Continue to Support Third-Party Permit Reviews

BATON ROUGE, La. — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today continued to voice her support of third-party reviewers to supplement the services City-Parish’s Department of Permits and Inspection. This initiative was also a recommendation from the mayor-president’s transition committee for the Department of Development, within the Department of Public Works. The company chosen by a committee earlier this fall, the South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC), will provide expedited building plan reviews for the City-Parish department, pending contract approval by the Metro Council today.

“Since last year’s floods, our permit and inspection department has seen an increase in the number of permit requests,” Mayor-President Broome said. “While that agency is committed to providing a high level of customer service, as well as ensuring the integrity of design and construction, we recognized that we could continue encouraging smart development in our parish by implementing a third-party plan review contract.”

Local companies and business organizations have also voiced support for the third-party review process, citing increased economic development opportunities. Among supporters are Russell Mosely, president of the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition.

“The decision by this administration to supplement the plan review process with third-party reviewers is the single most important improvement for the development community within the Department of Public Works,” Mosely said. “The Growth Coalition has been working with Mayor-President Broome and the Council to bring this improvement to a reality. We appreciate all the work to make this program happen.”

According to Carey Chauvin, director of development, SCPDC could begin servicing applicants as soon as November if the Council approves the agreement and it is executed by the City-Parish. SCPDC, based in Houma, is one of eight regional planning commissions in the state and has experience providing review services to other municipalities.

###

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




LSU, City-Parish apply technology and research to address issues with support from NSF

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 CST

Originally sent from LSU Media RelationsContact Alison SatakeLSU Media Relations225-578-3870asatake@lsu.eduLSU, City-Parish Apply Technology and Research to Address Traffic, Crime, and Blight With Support from National Science FoundationBATON ROUGE, La. — LSU researchers are working with Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and City-Parish department heads to apply technology, applied research and computing-based methods to help address public issues such as traffic, crime and blight. The university and municipal partnership has received support from the National Science Foundation.“Many local government agencies across the nation are actively looking at ways to build smarter cities and identify innovative ways to deliver more effective services to citizens while creating more resilient communities,” said Mayor-President Broome. “This grant is a clear signal from the National Science Foundation that Baton Rouge is a community taking positive steps in this direction in close coordination with our higher education and research partners, and we have both the capabilities and vision to serve as a collaborative model for how others can do the same.”The project is led by Seung-Jong Jay Park, associate director for cyberinfrastructure at the LSU Center for Computation & Technology. Park is working with a multi-disciplinary team of LSU researchers as well as city-parish officials representing various departments and agencies. Together, this team will share access to key datasets, identify tangible problems, inventory service-related challenges and explore the development and deployment of technology-related solutions.“As researchers, we are excited any time we see elected officials and government agencies demonstrate a clear and committed vision for enhancing service delivery and the surrounding community through data-driven decision-making and innovative use of technology,” Park said. “In many instances, those who have data may not have the tools or supercomputing processing power to use the data in a way that can inform this type of decision-making. This grant will help to interject ‘big data’ thinking and capabilities into governmental service delivery through research and meaningful collaboration, while clearly demonstrating the role data can play in transforming communities and positioning mid-sized cities like Baton Rouge at the forefront of smart city thinking and university collaboration.”Additionally, this research team will engage heavily with the East Baton Rouge Parish Smart City Committee, established by Metro Council Resolution 52157 in May 2016. The Smart City Committee consists of representatives from the Office of the Mayor-President, Metro Council, local and state economic development organizations, transportation officials, higher education institutions, technology incubators and others. This committee meets regularly to identify and coordinate opportunities focused on pursuing and leveraging technology-based solutions to influence public policy and decision-making, data management and collaboration, and civic engagement and education.The National Science Foundation awarded the LSU research team the $99,932 planning grant through its Smart and Connected Communities Program. The project funded by this grant is titled “SCC-Planning: Promoting Smart Technologies in Public Safety and Transportation to Improve Social and Economic Outcomes in a U.S. EDA-Designated Critical Manufacturing Region.”The application to secure this grant was submitted in close coordination with the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, w[...]



Mayor-President Broome officially announces Darryl Gissel as CAO

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, La. — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today officially announced Darryl Gissel as the City-Parish’s chief administrative officer during a morning press conference in City Hall. Gissel will begin supervising day-to-day operations next week.

“I am sure the person I chose (Gissel) shares the same commitment, passion and drive I have to move our parish forward together,” Mayor-President Broome said. “While we were opponents on the mayoral campaign trail, we came together to work for Baton Rouge. He has been a consistent supporter during my term. This is a great example of what can be accomplished in this parish when people from different backgrounds and starkly different political environments can work together.”

The mayor-president reiterated that her administration, which now includes Gissel, will continue to focus on a number of priorities, including job creation, business development and public safety in all neighborhoods.

While not a key chairperson of Mayor-President Broome’s overall transition team, Gissel did serve on one of the subcommittees, offering suggestions and canvassing the public for input about the Office of Community Development.

Darryl Gissel has an extensive background in business, most recently as owner of Oak Real Estate LLC. He also worked with the Westminster Corporation in New Orleans and Chicago.

Gissel is also extremely involved in the community, credited widely with revitalizing the Spanish Town area in Baton Rouge, working with neighbors to combat crime blight. He currently serves as a board member of the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation and the Spanish Town Civic Association. He has also served as chairman of the River Road African-American Museum, Louisiana State Museum Board, Baton Rouge Area Foundation Neighborhood Initiatives Committee, and the Governor’s Commission on Domestic Abuse.

Gissel holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans. He also participated in the Institute of Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

During today’s press conference, Mayor-President Broome praised the work of outgoing interim CAO James Llorens, who has been in the position since late April.

“Dr. Llorens has been a friend, a confidant and the ultimate public servant for Baton Rouge,” she said. “He did this not for loyalty to me but for a deep loyalty to public service and to this community.”

Mayor-President Broome said Llorens will aid in Gissel’s transition to the CAO position and brief him on current projects.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Baton Rouge Selected to Join Bloomberg’s National What Works Cities Initiative

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:00:00 CST

Ninety Cities Now Committed to Making Government

More Effective Using Data and Evidence

Baton Rouge, La. — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today announced that the capital city has been selected as one of five new cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ national What Work Cities initiative — one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector. Baton Rouge will receive technical assistance from world-class experts to build its capacity to track progress in housing recovery efforts related to the August 2016 flooding in the state. The City will also engage community stakeholders while developing an open data policy and exploring opportunities for residents to use municipal data.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Baton Rouge,” Mayor-President Broome said. “I look forward to our team making the most of this initiative to better serve our residents.”

The city’ selection, along with that of Cary, North Carolina; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Hayward, California; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina was announced nationally today by What Works Cities.

“Data is one of the best resources at cities’ disposal for effectively solving challenges and driving progress,” said Simone Brody, executive director of What Works Cities. “We’re supporting city leaders to maximize the use of their data to make more informed decisions, develop stronger programs and services, and better serve their communities.”

With today’s new participating cities, What Works Cities is now partnering with 90 cities across the country that are home to more than 28 million people in 37 states and have annual budgets exceeding $96 billion. The initiative will partner with 100 cities on a rolling basis through 2018.

With support from a consortium of expert partners, What Works Cities are identifying more effective ways to evaluate programs and improve performance; best use resources to serve their communities; and address a range of social challenges — from public safety to affordable housing. What Works Cities participants also join the initiative’s extensive learning network of local leaders and global experts actively sharing best practices for outcomes-focused government. Baton Rouge will will improve open data practices in order to make municipal data more accessible and engage residents around government priorities and services.

The consortium of expert organizations assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies to deliver support to cities comprises the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation. Other cities that are partnering with What Works Cities include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Anchorage, Alaska; Baltimore, Maryland; Charlotte, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Miami, Florida; and Washington, D.C.

For more information about Bloomberg Philanthropies, go to www.bloomberg.com. For more information about What Works Cities, go to www.whatworkscities.org.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)