How will you use your position of influence to improve public education for children in our district?
The Lafayette Parish Library system is one of the best in the state. It complements public education by providing resources for enhancing the learning experience. For example, every library has state-of-the-art computer labs with broadband connections to the internet. That narrows the digital divide for many of our younger population. Of course, it is also accessible to all. While the City Council will not have direct governing authority, I can and will partner with both Parish Council and School Board members to improve public education.
How will you improve access to community services, health care, housing and a better quality of life for the disadvantaged in our district?
Certainly there is a need to improve services, and that can be accomplished through our Department of Community Development. However, whatever the outreach, it must be localized to the disadvantaged population. Convenient access includes not only location but public transportation options as well.
How will you address budget constraints in consolidated government, including the parish budget, from your position on the city council?
The “budget constraints” exist primarily in the Parish budget. The allocation schedule that defines who pays what for LCG must be adjusted to reflect fair and equal sharing of expenses. Currently, the city of Lafayette funds a disproportionate amount based on a formula that effectively determines what the Parish can afford to pay, regardless of benefits received.
How will you secure and prioritize funding for maintenance and improvement of roads and other infrastructure in our district, particularly in the urban core?
Infrastructure capital improvements are funded with a small City property tax, with the majority of the revenues generated by a dedicated portion of the 2-cent City sales tax. The Lafayette City Council will establish priorities in spending the funds during the annual budget review. The urban core presents a unique challenge in that there is considerable aging infrastructure in place. Roads are the most visible. However, sub-surface water and sewer lines also require attention, and improvements and expansions are the responsibility of the Lafayette Utilities System, whose revenues are generated by its customer billing. As with roads, priorities are established and funding is pay as you go or through voter-approved bonds.
What will you do to invest in drainage infrastructure and develop policies and strategies for stormwater management in our district?
The priority is to develop a plan. We’ve set aside $39 million for stormwater diversion in the city of Lafayette. The funding is in place; what is lacking is a comprehensive master stormwater management program for the Teche-Vermilion watershed that drains several parishes, including Lafayette.
The Daily Advertiser, 10/03/2019
City council District 2 race promises rematch after 44-vote margin in 2015
The Daily Advertiser, 10/09/2019