Biggest surprise to Joe Giarrusso about first year on New Orleans City Council? ‘People lie’

By Jeff Adelson

Source: The Advocate

December 2, 2018

New Orleans City Council members had some surprising answers at a panel discussion hosted by the Bureau of Governmental Research last week when they were asked what they have been most surprised by in city government.

“People lie,” first-year Councilman Joe Giarrusso answered, explaining that developers have told him there was no neighborhood opposition to a project that he knew nearby residents were against.

“He’s new,” quipped Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, who served on the City Council from 2010-14 before returning this year.

Palmer herself had an unexpected response to the question. “I really like this council,” she said.

“That’s a surprise?” asked retired WWL-TV newsman Dennis Woltering, the moderator.

“It is,” she replied, before praising the way the new council has divvied up responsibilities.

Even before they were sworn in, council members agreed to have different members take the lead on issues related to their committee chairmanships. That’s led to some specialization among council members. For example, Palmer has focused on transportation issues and Giarrusso on the Sewerage & Water Board and public works.

“What’s really fascinating in this council is everyone has this really core competency that they’re focusing on,” Palmer said.

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