The Kenner City Council voted unanimously Thursday to appoint real estate agent Kelly Hand to fill the seat that will be vacated when Dominick Impastato resigns to assume the Parish Council seat to which he was elected Oct. 14.
Hand's first official council meeting will be Nov. 2, and she will hold the office for the remainder of Impastato's term, which expires next summer.
Hand, a 54-year-old real estate agent and mother of two, said she was shocked when Impastato approached her about taking over the seat on an interim basis.
"I am very non-political," said Hand, a Republican. "I just do stuff in my neighborhood."
Specifically, she has helped revive the Seton Park homeowners association, which has helped beautify the neighborhood's three entrances, she said. She also has been active in supporting St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School and Woodlake Playground.
Impastato cited Hand's community work as the reason he asked whether she would be interested in the seat.
"She was instrumental in reforming the civic association for one of the larger neighborhoods in District 5," he said.
Hand said she expects her tenure on the council to be short; she's not planning to run for the seat in the spring, when council elections will be held.
Kenner has no law that bars interim council members from running, Impastato said, but it's "generally accepted" that they must pledge not to do so.
Hand said she plans to focus on drainage issues and completing some of the projects that Impastato helped start, including playground improvements.
She said she also wants to see if there are new ways to lure businesses to the struggling Esplanade Mall.
Kenner City Councilman Dominick Impastato handily defeated State Sen. Danny Martiny in the …
"I am going to have to get out in my district and my neighborhood and see what people want," she said.
Kenner City Council District 5 covers the northwest portion of the city, including most of the area north of Interstate 10 and west of Canal No. 10.
Impastato said he hasn't yet decided when he will assume his duties as a Jefferson Parish councilman for District 4. The next council meeting is Oct. 25, but Impastato said he may need more time to familiarize himself with the issues on which he will be voting. The meeting after that one is scheduled for Nov. 15.