Outgoing Council Member Fielkow stated that just now on WBOK radio this afternoon as he talked about the Council's influence over where various government dollars go.
Unfortunately, I don't think that's entirely accurate.
Looking back, Fielkow, as a City Council member, was involved at the very beginning in permitting the LSU/VA project to move forward. For example, he was involved in the March 2007 Regional Planning Commission resolution pushing for a "downtown" VA site - which an April 2007 CEA between the City and State revealed to be...the RPC site above S. Galvez. The CEA also laid out the current site of the UMC.
He also voted in support of the December 2007 ordinance that established a moratorium in the LSU/VA footprints, banning people from even repairing their homes and functionally establishing a blanket of planner's blight over the site that depressed property values as expropriation was getting underway.
Fielkow also voted for the revocation of the streets in both the VA and UMC footprints.
So, council members did have several opportunities to control the state hospital (and the federal hospital)...it's just that they didn't choose to control the hospital - or the funding involved.