James Thomas

Former Candidate for Parish Council District 5

Your Questions,
Answered

How you will increase the presence of police patrols to combat violent crime and drug activity in our district?

James Thomas

I will make sure that I work with our first responders, particularly with our great city police department. My job as a legislator is to make laws that will support our police department. Making sure we can give them the necessary tools they need to keep our neighborhoods safe. We have to make sure we have competitive pay standards so we don't lose them to other parishes or agencies. We need to work with their crime-stats division and use that data to make sure we are directing those necessary resources toward the areas in the district that need them the most. I plan to bridge the gap between our police department and all our neighborhood organizations to ensure that community policing is working at its best.

How will you promote sustainable economic development that doesn’t add to consolidated government’s financial burden, and diversify the local economy?

James Thomas

In order to tackle economic development in our district, we have to tackle crime also. Crime cripples economic development. It cripples our educational system. Major companies want to move their companies and employees where there are safer neighborhoods and discretionary income, which we have not had in District 5 in a long time. District 5 has a high crime and high poverty rate. I have a plan to work with our citizens to help empower them to get out of poverty and earn a better living wage. I will partner with our local school board to make sure I can provide any assistance as a legislator. I want us to follow models of other cities that have faced the same issues we are and bring those tools back to District 5 so we can use them and grow from them.

How will you fund road maintenance and improvement and determine the most needed and impactful projects?

James Thomas

One of the major ways that governments get revenue is in a sales tax and property tax. That is how governments are run. Every day working Americans contribute to this budget. When elected, I will find ways to fund these projects by looking at some of the bonds we currently have to see if we can free up some of this money for our road projects. I also want to work with the Acadiana delegation and chief lobbyists on contracts to secure capital outlay money to fund parishwide capital outlay projects. We have to look at how we are rating our roads and make sure that the rating system is accurate and sufficient in determining if that's how we want to continue to determine what should be a priority.

How will you improve access to community services, health care, housing and a better quality of life for the disadvantaged in our district?

James Thomas

Providing a better quality of life for my constitutes is the main reason I'm running for office. We have to make sure that we are fighting for our fair share of the pie. I believe that an urgent care center should be built in District 5. I believe we have a need for it. Affordable housing is a great stepping stone for people who are disadvantaged. I want those services to be available to people when they are in need. But, at the same time, I want them to always want more out of life. I want them to see the options that are available. Having grown up in Holy Family Apartments, I know all about affordable housing. I saw that as a hand up and not a hand out.

How do you plan to tackle drainage and stormwater management issues in our district?

James Thomas

In District 5 we have pockets of areas that have to be addressed. We have to make sure that the storm drains are cleaned every so often so that trash and debris can be removed so that water is able to flow as efficiently as possible. We have to make sure that after heavy rain events, our Public Works team is out documenting those areas and seeing why we did have a back up of water.