The effort to overturn New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's veto of an ordinance requiring public meetings of committees that evaluate applicants for some city contracts apparently is not over.
(Councilwoman Cynthia) Hedge-Morrell and other speakers said many African-Americans consider calls for "transparency" a code word for attempts to prevent minority companies from getting public contracts and for a majority-white council to limit the power of a black mayor.
Because Nagin's new executive order disbands the committee system he set up in 2005, Hedge-Morrell noted that a veto override would have little practical effect. She said she did not want to do anything to fuel racial antagonism in the city and worsen already poor relations between the mayor and council.
Fielkow said the measure had nothing to do with race and denied it was designed to demonstrate "disrespect for the office of the mayor" or to diminish the mayor's powers.
"We are trying to create a procedure where it is not about who you know at the table, but what you are bringing to the table, " Fielkow said.