The creation of a new medical complex will be the largest economic development project in the city's history, yet decisions are being made behind closed doors, without transparency, and without citizen involvement. No public hearings have been held by the City Planning Commission or the City Council on the $1.2 billion project, because no evaluation of alternative proposals for the medical complex have taken plan by the Planning Commission staff. The decision to shutter Charity Hospital in the first place remains shrouded in mystery and controversy. When municipal, state, and federal agencies entered into cooperative endeavor agreements and binding memorandums of understanding to acquire individually-owned lands in Lower Mid-City, the decisions were made behind closed doors without any basic disclosure to the affected public, let alone the opportunity for input. Similarly, the impetus for the creation of the Greater New Orleans Biomedical Development District (GNOBEDD) to provide special tax status for an even wider area including almost all of Mid City remains unknown. Because the city is an active participant in the LSU/VA decision, citizens are increasingly disenchanted with the planning process. New Orleans City Council members have done nothing to lead on this issue and ensure that their constituents are heard. Citizens of New Orleans ask why they should remain involved in the planning process to produce the Master Plan to guide the city into the future when the hired planners have been told not to include the medical district in plan. It is becoming clear to many citizens that the most significant economic/health decision facing New Orleans is being made behind closed doors.
Below you will find a collection of articles pertaining to the government transparency issue: