|Voter's Guide, 2021 Fall Elections, New Orleans
|Position ||Councilmembers District C |
|Name||Stephen Gunn Mosgrove|
|Profession||Small Business Consultant|
|Present Employer / position||Owner, Via Consulting|
|Length of residence in Jurisdiction||42 years|
|List of educational institutions and degrees||Boston College, B.A., Political Science, 1993|
University of New Orleans, Master of Business Administration, 2000
|Prior elected and appointed positions||Legislative Aide, Office of Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, District E|
Director of Transportation, Office of the Mayor, Economic Development, Ray Nagin, 2002-2005
Neighborhood Liaison, District A, Office of the Mayor, LaToya Cantrell, 2019-2021
|Civic involvement and affiliations||Vice-President, Kiwanis of Algiers|
Member, Aurora West Civic Association
Questions specific to the position
|1. Do you feel like the wages for municipal employees, such as the NOFD and EMS are adequate, and if not, how do you propose raising them?
||Wages are not adequate for municipal employees especially for first responders. In fact, wages and salaries aren't adequate for anyone here as the costs of living increase in New Orleans. We need to lower the costs of living in a variety of ways and finally truly focus on building a diversified economy that satisfies many interests and skills, is merit based and talent driven, and equitable. We can't live with similar costs as our regional rivals (Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Orlando, Nashville, et al.) without the same humming economies and salaries that they have built over the last few decades.|
Municipal employees should receive annual costs of living raises as do many State and Federal employees. The City's longevity raise should be higher to better reward experience. Additionally, a clear and transparent process to provide regular merit based raises as incentives for excellent performance (technical expertise displayed, excellent management, customer service quality, et al.) needs to be instituted for municipal employees. Quality managers and supervisors are key variables in a merit based process.
|2. Will you support an ordinance to establish an independent external evaluation of the Ethics Review Board as called for in the Charter? Please explain your answer.
||Yes, for thirty years I have been an advocate for good government. Political machines, cliques, systems don't appeal to me because they have proven themselves to be inward focused and not community focused. Their decisions are made for their self-interests and not in the interests of the people who are the heartbeat of the city. I have fought them for decades and have voiced during those decades that machine and clique government holds back each of us as well as our community as a whole. There are still these elements in our system that hold us all back, and they wish to grow and perpetuate themselves. |
External review is an opportunity for any board, especially the Ethics Review Board, to maximize its performance and value. Public performance and functionality are vital to any healthy community. New Orleans needs to make ongoing and constant strides towards ethical government. We can never sleep on that pursuit because when we do, we regress.
|3. In your role as the regulatory body for Entergy, what factors would you consider to increase rates?
||I would require Entergy to do all that it can to NOT increase rates. Basic utilities are some of those quickly rising costs to New Orleans residents.|
I would require Entergy to show that it has identified greater efficiencies within its corporation (a process which would include council analysis), has pursued a diversified energy portfolio to decrease product costs, and has sincerely pursued strategic planning that prioritizes real value propositions for the customer. In other words, is Entergy first trying to provide better service at neutral or lower costs?
If services cannot be improved without an increase, I would consider it and require that it exists only to cover costs.
|4. Where is the best site for a new City Hall and why?
||One thing that we do know is that Armstrong Park in Treme is NOT the right location. Residents there, in surrounding historic neighborhoods, and throughout the city have spoken clearly about their opposition. I have witnessed that opposition, and the energy against the Armstrong Park location is always palpable. That consensus must be respected and valued.|
As a candidate for City Council, District C, I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention that a new City Hall could fit very nicely on underutilized land in Algiers. It is space that has not been developed as it should have been and continues to languish and risk losing the tenants that it does have.
However, I do see this decision as an important citywide decision because it impacts a number of things from City government efficiency and performance to easy access and quality customer service for residents, businesses, and others. I support what is best for our district and our city as a whole. Both considerations are part of a council-member's duty.
Thus, a fuller discussion among many stakeholders is required for this important city shared decision. As someone who has served in the neighborhood engagement space, I think it's very important to really think about this decision and to include residents from throughout New Orleans in the process. A solid and transparent quantitative market research process could help in phase one engagement.