29 November 2007
note: in the interest of fairness the city of alexandria did respond within about twenty-four hours of our 20 november 2007 post. we had originally requested the information 190 days previously on 15 may 2007 but didnt post about it until 21 may 2007. so, we didnt feel particularly inspired to rush to our blog and post an update.
the email that we received from the city, containing the laws they claim they are going by is at the bottom of this post. although since we received that email a mayoral assistant in this comment in this thread on central la politics blog specifically referenced La. R.S. 48:701 which after reading that statute we still think the city of alexandria is full of bullshit because prescott road has not "been abandoned or are no longer needed for public purposes."
anyway, we've been fascinated by the ongoing psyop against alexandrians by christus st. francis cabrini hospital, the alexandria mayor with the full assistance and cooperation of the corporate media.
this all began when the city mailed out letters to alexandria residents living near the youth ball park. the reason given was to explore the possibility of the city giving the youth ballpark to cabrini hospital for expansion. as expected this news resulted in citizen outrage in all quarters. what was heartwarming to see was that blacks and whites, rich and poor all came together in opposition to this fiendish plot.
not to be outdone and seizing upon alexandrian's exhaustion of having to deal with the entire matter the alexandria mayor announced that he had an epiphany in that cabrini could get what they wanted after all. it would only cost alexandrians' the use and ownership of prescott road.
alexandrians' being so docile and compliant were unable to see that they had just been played like a cheap violin; hailed the mayor as the savior of the day.
the corporate media has styled their reporting all along that it is an inevitability that cabrini is going to get something from the city, while never bothering to explain to their readers and viewers that legally the city does not have to (and shouldnt) give cabrini one damn thing!
in a recent city council meeting the alexandria mayor explained how the city had done another one of their fantabulous studies to learn that some 80% of the traffic in and around prescott road is related to cabrini. this should tell a reasonable minded person that at least 80% of any revenue generated by the city giving prescott road to cabrini will go to...cabrini.
this is an unabashed manipulation of data because if you did a study of all of alexandria's streets you would probably find out that 80% of the traffic is from people going to and from work and the grocery store and shopping. if anyone did a study of the traffic on the streets around the alexandria mall you would most likely learn that damn near 100% of the traffic there is mall related. now if the mall wanted to expand and a city street was in the way should the city give that street to the mall? using the citys reasoning in the cabrini matter they should. so, starting with alexandria's giving away part of 4th street to rapides general hospital, this is yet another dangerous not to mention unnecessary, precedent to set.
now, we've been told by the administration that "Cabrini's expansion is good for the entire community; we're literally talking about hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic impact." this all may be true but at what real cost to the citizens? in other words why does the city want to play a part in attracting more diseases and germs to be spread into our community?
in the natural world, sick and diseased animals separate themselves from the herd and go off to be alone. the reason for this is obvious. the human is the only being that stretches out its arms to bring disease and pestilences to its bosom -- all in the name of the almighty dollar. speaking of the dollar, "if the subprime mortgage meltdown and the dollars plight is half as bad as predicted" and god forbid the economy finally collapses and katrina style anarchy engulfs america, then all this cabrini and redflex and baggy pants talk will be moot anyway, because these politicians along with their robber-baron masters and the lawyers will be the first ones strung-up from the lamp posts.
we've given lots of examples of how the corporate media, right here in cenla, instead of being their subscribers and viewers watchdogs and reporting on governmental shenanigans works hand in glove with the government to suppress news to present government in the best possible light.
the most recent example is from this 26 november 2007 report filed by kalb's joel massey. this whole story is written and presented in such a way as to sex up cabrini and make the prescott road scam seem like a good thing, accepted by the community.
this is gael perry. ms. perry's attitude is typical of most americans today. kalb reports that ms. perry lives on prescott road. ms. perry says that she thinks cabrini's takeover of prescott road is "inevitable" and that it doesnt bother her to "have to go down two blocks to go over." ms. perry then states that she knows that "there is older people on this block that have been here for many years and it's gonna be difficult for them..." so in other words the hell with the "older people." they're gonna be dead in a few years anyway right? never mind that it will make their lives much more difficult and when you're talking about "older people" maneuvering around in traffic -- terrifying.
and thats another thing you have to ask yourself...is cabrini still carrying out the mission of their founder and namesake? would mother cabrini approve of exploiting not only old people but any people like this? from what we've read about mother cabrini we think not. to this greedy. megalomaniac corporation that now runs the hospital, st. francis cabrini, her name and likeness are nothing more than a corporate logo. much like ronald mcdonald is to the mcdonalds corporation. so dont feel sorry for cabrini hospital.
now, this guy. sheesh. he needs to be investigated for sure. who is he, what is his, his families and/or business connection, if any, to cabrini hospital. this guy has got to be a cabrini or city sockpuppet. either that or hes so brainwashed there really is no hope for your typical alexandrian. why is this guy allowed to get on the air and virtually repeat verbatim the propaganda lie that its an inevitability that cabrini is going to get either the baseball fields or prescott road; to reinforce the notion that cabrini hospital dictates to the citizens of alexandria.
it's impossible to believe that out of a city of some 40,000 people kalb couldnt find not one person who opposes this give-a-way. maybe kalb did but since we dont sweep the cutting room floor guess we'll never know.
this report of kalb and mr. massey, is so one-sided and pro cabrini and city of alexandria it doesnt even pretend to be fair.
so why is that? well we're glad you asked. ksyl's dave graichen gave us an idea in this post of ours from 27 july 2007. mr. graichen was talking about investigative reporting or the lack thereof when he spoke about "feeling pressure from management having to do with going after anybody who happens to be an advertiser..."
its no secret that cabrini hospital is a major advertiser with kalb. its also no secret that kalb performs so poorly that its parent company media general is trying to unload it. while its certainly unethical what kalb is doing, perhaps, now yuu can understand where they are coming from. kalb is not going to do anything to alienate a major revenue stream.
alexandrians are being lied to and misled left and right. by the city, by st francis cabrini hospital and by the media. the town talk yesterday did print an article mentioning that some citizens were opposed to the cabrini prescott road scam. this must have been the town talk's way of letting cabrini know that they need to rethink their newspaper advertising budget because the discerning reader cant help but notice that the town talk's article ends on a positive note for cabrini.
~it's a big club and you aint in it...they want more for themselves and less for everyone else ~ george carlin
§ 48:701. Revocation of dedication; reversion of property
The parish governing authorities and municipal corporations of the state, except the parish of Orleans, may revoke and set aside the dedication of all roads, streets, and alleyways laid out and dedicated to public use within the respective limits, when the roads, streets, and alleyways have been abandoned or are no longer needed for public purposes.
Upon such revocation, all of the soil covered by and embraced in the roads, streets, or alleyways up to the center line thereof, shall revert to the then present owner or owners of the land contiguous thereto.
Nothing in this Section shall be construed as repealing any of the provisions of special statutes or charters of incorporated municipalities granting the right to close or alter roads or streets.
§ 48:702. Abandoning certain roads and exchanging property with other property owners
Whenever the governing authorities of any parish or municipal corporation of this state desire to construct a road, street or alley leading to any property of the state or any of its subdivisions, boards, commissions, or political corporations, and it appears that the construction will make it unnecessary to the public welfare to continue any then existing road, street or alley or any part thereof to permit access to or from the public property or to or from any property served by the old road, the parish or municipal corporation governing authority may, by proper ordinance, revoke and set aside the dedication of the road, street or alley, or any part thereof, and exchange it with property owners, so that new roads, streets or alleys or parts thereof, leading to or from any property of the state or any of its subdivisions, boards, commissions or political corporations may be laid out and dedicated to the public use. The property so exchanged shall become private property.
§ 48:712. Methods of disposition of property
The said property may be disposed of by one of the following four methods: (1) revocation of the dedication of the property if it consists of a street, road or alley dedicated to public use; (2) sale of any type of property at public auction; (3) sale of any type of property at private sale; or (4) exchange of any type of property for other property of approximately equal value.
§ 48:717. Private sale
If the governing authority decides to dispose of any of said property at private sale, it shall have the property appraised by an expert appraiser or appraisers appointed by the authority and the property shall not be sold for less than the value so established.
§ 33:4712. Sale, exchange, or lease of property by a municipality
A. A municipality may sell, lease for a term of up to ninety-nine years, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, to or with other political corporations of this state, or private persons, at public or private sale, any property, or portions thereof, including real property, which is, in the opinion of the governing authority, not needed for public purposes.
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 1996-4; 1996 La. AG LEXIS 203, *
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
OPINION No. 96-4
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 1996-4; 1996 La. AG LEXIS 203
May 28, 1996
37 So. 2d 851 (La. 1948)
540 So.2d 983, 986 (La. App. 2 Cir. 1989)
544 So.2d 48:712
The City of Westwego, in declaring the property in question no longer needed for public purposes has removed the street from the public domain and is free, in accordance with the strict provisions of law, to dispose of the property either under 33:4712 or 48:712.
John J. Molaison, Jr.
Westwego City Attorney
419 Avenue A
Westwego, LA 70094
RICHARD P. IEYOUB, ATTORNEY GENERAL; Robert B. Barbor, Assistant Attorney General
You have asked for an opinion from this office regarding the right of the City of Westwego to lease property dedicated to the city for use as a street, but no longer needed for public purposes, to a private individual under the terms and conditions of LSA-R.S. 33:4712. The street property in question was never opened as such nor improved.
Your opinion request does not make clear the exact procedure used to effect the dedication of the property to the city. It is assumed, since the property was never opened or improved, that the dedication was statutory in nature and in accordance with LSA-R.S. 33:5051. If so, once the dedication is perfected, the prior owner has divested himself of title and the governing authority is the owner for the benefit of the public. Martin v. Fuller, 37 So.2d 851 (La. 1948). We must also assume that the action of the City of Westwego in declaring that the property in question is no longer needed for public purposes was done with the requisite formalities. As the court in Walker v. Coleman, 540 So.2d 983, 986 (La. App. 2 Cir. 1989) noted, once that determination is made formally, the property becomes a private thing owned by the governing authority and can be disposed of in accordance with law. In this case the City of Westwego is contemplating a lease to a private person, rather than a revocation or other alienation.
Walker, a case dealing with the Parish of Ouachita, held that LSA-R.S. 48:701 was a special law dealing specifically with dedicated streets as opposed to the general provisions of LSA-R.S. 33:4711, which provides for the disposition of other kinds of parish property. The act of the parish declaring that the property was no longer needed for public purposes resulted in a revocation under 48:701 and the property reverted to the contiguous landowners by law. In the case of a municipality, the parallel statute, LSA-R.S. 33:4712, applies. It too, is a statute of general application. Following the logic and ruling of Walker, we must accept that Part V and Part V-A of Chapter 2, Title 48 are special laws that take precedence over the general provisions of LSA-R.S. 33:4711 and 33:4712.
The City of Westwego is located in Jefferson Parish, which is a parish having a population in excess of 325,000 persons based on the 1970 census. Therefor, it is our opinion that LSA-R.S. 48:711, et. seq., applies, since these statutes deal with parish property or "any immovable property . . . title to which is in the public, including . . . streets, roads and alleys". This broad definition could certainly encompass municipal property. LSA-R.S. 48:719 states that this part, (Part V-A), shall apply to parishes of this size and "shall be construed as affording an alternative procedure to that set forth in . . . R.S. 33:4712." It also expressly supersedes 48:701. This is further evidence of the understanding and intent of the legislature to include municipal property within the scope of Part V-A. Coliseum Square Association v. City of New Orleans, 544 So.2d 351 (La. 1989) is instructive, although clearly distinguishable due to the fact of the home rule charter provisions at the core of the case. The decision is indicative of the deference given to larger municipalities to exercise greater control over the use of public property. The rationale of the underlying public policy that encourages a return to consolidated tracts in residential subdivisions if the streets are never developed has less importance in the case of larger parishes and municipalities. When 33:4712 is read in conjunction with the clear language of 48:719, it is clear that the legislature did not intend to effect an immediate revocation, with its attendant transfer of title, in the case of a city located in a parish of this size, upon declaration that the street is no longer needed for public purposes. Rather, the declaration takes the property out of public use and puts it into the category of a private thing owned by the public body with the option to dispose of the property as the governing authority determines is in the best interest of the public. In this case, lease of the property in accordance with the dictates of 33:4712 is an option.
In summary, it is our opinion that the City of Westwego, in declaring the property in question no longer needed for public purposes has removed the street from the public domain and is free, in accordance with the strict provisions of law, to dispose of the property either under 33:4712 or 48:712.
Posted by wst... at 19:00