Voter's Guide, 2021 Fall Elections, New Orleans
Position Councilmember at Large Division 2
NameKristin Gisleson Palmer

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
ProfessionCity Councilmember, Owner of the Gisleson Group (developing houses)
Present Employer / positionThe Gisleson Group (Home Development)
Length of residence in JurisdictionLifelong
List of educational institutions and degreesSt. Louis University - B.A. in History
Prior elected and appointed positionsCity Council, District C - 2010-2014
Civic involvement and affiliationsIndependent Women's Organization
Orleans Parish Democrat Executive Committee
Covenant House - Board Member

Questions specific to the position

1. What do you see as your role as council president? It’s the role of the Council president to preside over the meetings, ensuring that all matters are handled fairly with an opportunity for public engagement. This has been a core tenet of my leadership on the Governmental Affairs and Transportation Committees, both of which I’ve used as the opportunity to discuss matters proposed by the public, fellow Councilmembers, and my own legislation. The Council president is not a position that should be politicized; we need to guard against that.
Additionally, as an At-Large Councilmember, it would be my role to support district Council Members who are on the ground with their districts, particularly in land use matters. The At-Large should also mentor new district Council members.
At-Large Council members should be another voice for each district. I’ve already put this into practice with crime cameras, which I ensured went to every district to deter crime.
A big reason I’m running for At-Large is to put forth legislation that will positively impact residents across our City. I think that’s why it’s so important to elect someone with District Council experience who is intimately aware of the quality of life issues our residents face such as violent crime, damaged streets, and good paying jobs.
2. 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? Our municipal workers and the workers of the contractors with the city need to be making at least $15/hr. This includes first responders, who are irreplaceable. We have to make sure they receive their due pay.
The Council can legislate minimum wage for city employees and contract employees with the support of the Mayor.
3. 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. Absolutely. This sort of external evaluation is absolutely needed. The ERB is the only oversight body for two critical agencies - the Inspector General and Independent Police Monitor - that provide a check against our government. That’s why the last Council already adopted an ordinance in 2018, along the lines of what you describe, requiring a regular independent, external peer review of the ERB, to be paid for at their own expense. The ERB is bound to implement the recommendations from the report.
4. In your role as the regulatory body for Entergy, what factors would you consider to increase rates? I am opposed to a rate increase from Entergy. Entergy needs to do in house work before they pass their costs down to the customer. For instance, Entergy is currently using expensive outside consultants. Those costs could be reduced through in house hiring.
I may consider increasing rates if we get to 100% renewables energy within a clearly defined timeframe
5. Where is the best site for a new City Hall and why? This decision should be up to the people. I’m not going to engage in a top-down approach that has been the downfall of the past three mayors on this issue.
What I do know is that, specifically for the redevelopment of Municipal Auditorium, we have ample resources that we are sitting on, which are time limited and require community outreach. Ideas that have come from residents, most importantly of Treme, include a cultural center, which could include an African-American museum and performance space
I believe we need a Municipal Buildings Commission that review all publicly owned property to decide what is the highest and best use. These properties and the redevelopment and or sale of them could be used to offset costs for a new and/or renovated city hall. Please note that the city received many buildings from VA (inclusive of a parking garage close to existing city hall).
The Commission should have private sector experts inclusive of developers and public/private finance experts in addition to admin and community/business representation. This Commission should be given a timeline and mission statement. Civil District Court should also be included in this.