My blog has consistently identified local attorney Stuart Smith as the “puppetmaster” and bully behind the Vieux Carre Property Owners and Residents Association (VCPORA) and French Quarter Citizens’ efforts to pass a highly restrictive noise ordinance, which could potentially have a devastating effect on live music in the French Quarter, the Faubourg Marigny and the remainder of the city.
Journalist Richard Webster of NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune wrote a revealing investigative article that shows that Smith, who does not even live in the city full-time, has threatened and intimidated others who have been involved in trying to work up an equitable means to create a viable noise ordinance in the city. A public records request shows that Smith sent intimidating emails to Cm. Kristin Palmer, and threatened local businessman Robert Watters if Smith’s agenda wasn’t followed. Smith and his public relations firm have consistently attempted to use character assassination and negative spin to cast aspersions on the character and expertise of Dave Woolworth, a principal at Oxford Acoustics, who was hired by the City Council to prepare a report on noise issues, and to suggest potential solutions to the issues at hand. Woolworth was accused of a conflict of interest in the the missives sent out by the “Krewe of Truth,” Brylski’s firm. While it cannot be proven, there was a YouTube videe posted by a fictitious person that disparaged Woolworth’s role in preparing a report.
Smith and his krewe apparently will do anything to achieve their agenda, to the point of character assassination, untruth, intimidation and what could even be considered blackmail.
We applaud Webster’s story and investigation, and recommend that you read the article here.
It’s a pity that Mr. Smith has used not one, but two, citizens’ groups to further his agenda. Mr. Smith is obviously a very smart and competent attorney, and has done some good things for the community (including liberal spending with Loyola University’s law center). Instead of spending his time and money trying to intimidate others in the community, perhaps he should work out a plan and spend his money trying to actually solve a thorny problem, rather than to exacerbate it by the manipulative techniques he’s been using.
The biggest issues in putting together a workable noise ordinance is enforcement. If Stuart Smith really wants to make a positive change in the city, perhaps he should help set up and fund organization that represents all of the interests of the residents and businesses in this city, and not just his own.