Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser Working On Plan to Take French Quarter from City Control


Lieutenant Governor Bill Nungesser wants to restore tourism across Louisiana as the state reopens – and he wants to start by taking control of the French Quarter away from the city of New Orleans.

“For the last many years, New Orleans has been trending – three things: crime, cleanliness, new attractions – it’s been trending down,” Nungesser said during a segment on KEEL News Radio. “Now with this shutdown, we believe that if we don’t clean up the Quarter and bring it back with a bang it will have a negative impact on tourism as we open up the doors nationally, internationally. So goes New Orleans, so goes tourism in the rest of the state.”

According to Nungesser, his office is working on a plan to present to Mayor LaToya Cantrell that would mimic what was done in another tourism-heavy city – San Diego.

“We’re working on a plan to present to the mayor of New Orleans to do what they did in San Diego, where they took the Gaslamp District away from the city, ran it with the group that manages it, and have their own police force, clean the streets, and really make it the shining star that it ought to be to draw people to Louisiana.”

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According to Nungesser, the French Quarter – and by extension the state – needs a “wow factor” in order to ensure a swift return of tourism in New Orleans. Anything less, Nungesser says, and the Quarter may not survive.

“There is legislation already in place for that Downtown Development District that gets money for extra police. It’s not managed properly,” Nungesser said. “There ought to be one [police] force all working together, crime cameras all over that Quarter, much like they did in San Diego.”

This echoes a plan Nungesser outlined in 2019 to turn the French Quarter into a Louisiana state park – a plan Cantrell soundly rejected. In the past, the Leiutenant Governor had said he would not pursue the proposal if businesses and residents in the French Quarter weren’t interested – but seems to be hoping that a prolonged COVID-19 shutdown may have generated more interested in a state takeover of management.

“Sometimes things have to get so bad that you have to take a step back and say, ‘What are we going to do to fix this?’ And I think this is one of those times. A slow crawl back into tourism in New Orleans…many of those businesses and restaurants won’t make it.”

In previous discussions on the issue, Mayor Cantrell had stated that while she welcomed Nungesser’s help with making the French Quarter a cleaner, more attractive tourist spot, she wasn’t interested in turing the area into a state park or giving the state control of management.

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26 thoughts on “Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser Working On Plan to Take French Quarter from City Control

  1. The FQ has returned to the redlight district it once was, full of sex, drugs, and crime. Only the mafia guys like Marcello profit from that, and families cannot feel safe there at any time of day.

  2. I don’t see how this would help anything. The state can’t even fund their state parks to keep them open…letting the great state forts go into decay! Come on, let’s get real!

  3. The Lt Governor wanted to open up for St Patrick day didn’t want festivals canceled.How could he run FQ he could not run Plaquemine parish.Guy is just trying to campaign for Governor everyone want to run New Orleans from other parishes.Move to city or go to Hell

    1. Cantrell not from here either. Ray Nagin had a plan to make canal st a casino strip but no they had to but feds on him. Cause a black man can’t be that powerful

    2. Well said Gilbert.
      I’m tired of every Louisiana parish sucking off New Orleans teet . Get your own shit in your own parish and stop asking us to pay for the entire state. It’s just not fair.
      The whole state is a welfare case and New Orleans has to keep giving them money because they refuse to build attractions or lure Fortune 500 companies so they can survive on their own .
      There’s a saying – if you don’t work you don’t eat.

  4. Why they worrying bout rebuilding the French quarter they main concern should be for the residents/citizens of New Orleans and all over the world be mandatory that they get they jobs back from these companies since it were no fault of their own for this pandemic. The residents/citizens and people of New Orleans are the ones who make this city to have these tourists come here. It’s sad that no law or Bill is passed for these employees who’ve worked years for these companies and jobs go in a blank of an eye di to the Corona Virus. Every company should be held accountable for rehiring those who were employed when this pandemic took place. Folks are hurting doing this time and politics/ racism has been exposed and playing a major part in the recovery. The U.S. of America has failed the ppl of the United States of America deeply. Pass a mandatory law that companies must be obligated to rehire each employee who were working before this pandemic took place or pay them until they find another job. It’s only right!!! ORLEANS parish the only parish with no recreations for the youths/ kids to say tourism been going on here for decades. They have NOTHING here for the kids not a decent theater,skate rink, water park, arcade and I’m not talking bout City park which been here since I were a child and I’m 44yrs old and it’s been here, not talking bout Audubon park, museums, nor David Buster that was put there for the folks that come here here as tourists cause there’s no parking u have to pay to park in CBD area AWFUL. Out of towns Dave Buster in other states parking is free. And yet they wonder why the crime so bad how come these elected officials don’t see the problem just the tourist and money?! FIGHT FOR THE CITIZENS & RESIDENTS OF NEW ORLEANS/LOUISIANA EMPLOYMENT WITH THESE BIG COMPANIES THAT DO WHAT THEY WANT AT WILL!!!

  5. I enjoyed my first trip to the big easy. The morning views from the dock. To many homeless begging for money after they give you a flower or beads. It was freightening being yelled at by others with mental health issues. Broke my heart 💔 with all this beauty there’s so much filth and homelessness. There’s is a need for NAMi here

  6. Something has to be done because the FrQtr has become a trashy place. It is now filled w crime, smelly garbage, seedy bars/drunks, public obscenity, and “souvenir” shops that offer questionable items to a tourist trade that really is unwelcome. Is this what our city is all about?

    1. It always has been. The FQ being seedy is what brings in tourists. If you want family friendly, even Las Vegas does that better.

  7. I’m from the government and I’m here to help ,the scariest words in the English language. Take over the courthouses, take over the DA’s office, take over the police department! Take your hands out of our pockets! Take the idea that you know better how to live our lives out of your head!! Clean the whole system not a spot ! Let me wash my car door so people will feel comfortable getting in this filthy vehicle, wow, no wonder Louisiana is like it is.

  8. What joke! Clean up the da office, police department and the judges! Start there, we have no chance with leaders like this. Any politician from plaquemine parish is worse than any politician from Orleans parish, shit runs down river.
    I’m from the government and I’m here to help, scariest words in the English language!

  9. Yeah, because our state is so wealthy and so well run. Nungesser and our Republican run house snuck a law through during the peak of COViD allowing concealed carry into our bars in New Orleans, overturning an almost 40 year old law-put in place to protect tourism-that allowed New Orleans an exemption from the state law allowing that. Democratic New Orleans is the bedrock of the Louisiana economy. We can’t give it to the Republicans who have crushed the rest of our States economy.

    1. Why is it that after every crisis somebody wants to take over something in New Orleans? Our schools were taken over after Hurricane Katrina, and look where that has gotten us. The citizens of New Orleans have no voice about what happens in our “public” schools. After 15 years of reform they are no better than before for the majority of our children. Why not work with city officials and citizens to improve the Quarter???

  10. The FQ has been slowly deteriorating for years, with all the symptoms cited. There was a Fed induced blip after Katrina, but that has all but deteriorated. And while the State can’t do much better, I would certainly have more faith in their managing the District than the totally inept City. After Covid, the Gaslamp District will be great, Vegas will bounce back, and where will N.O. be? Singing the Blues, like always. Go Nungesser, don’t give up on this one. From an outsider’s perspective, it would be the best move yet for a dying historic landmark.

  11. He is just trying to get attention/ publicity to run for governor. He went against his direct supervisor’s orders saying he and his wife would participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and now this? Stay in your lane Mr. Nungesser, oh that’s right you don’t really have one do you?

  12. I live in San Diego. Keep New Orleans and all of its quarters just the way they are. New Orleans is the Most American City in the whole country. I believe it is the best city in the world. Don’t turn it into something inauthentic like Disneyland. San Diego’s Gaslamp district is boring. Nothing creative going on here. Please don’t change anything. If it is edgy, it means it’s quivering with life. If you make it “family friendly,” you will kill it FOREVER. That energy will never return.

  13. Plz plz plz leave a good thing alone. I moved to the city because there is nowhere like it. Yes, there is always room for improvement on crime. Everyone is on board with feeling safe but changing the vibe and atmosphere of Bourbon Street and the Quarter would kill it. That would be a tragedy for tourism.

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