How will you promote sustainable economic development that doesn’t add to consolidated government’s financial burden, and diversify the local economy?
The only way we can sustain economic development for the parish is to make sure we address the important issues that affect future development. For example, we need to make sure that we can provide and fund parish fire protection. Without the proper protection, insurance rates will be too high for residents and businesses to develop in the unincorporated areas of the parish. We must look at all of these things to make it attractive for economic development. We must also look at our policies and procedures in regards to developing to ensure we are not putting our government in a financial burden.
In regards to diversifying the economy, I will continue to work with LEDA and other entities to help diversify our local economy. We have a great hospital system with Lafayette General, along with the University of Louisiana and SLCC that offers nursing degrees and more. We also have IT companies looking to expand here in Lafayette Parish. So there are opportunities for growth. We also need to find ways to bring the oil and gas industry jobs back!
How will you use your position of influence to improve public education for children in our district?
I will work closely with the school board and its members in my district to make sure that we are putting education as a top priority for District 2. Education is so important today for our children. I respect all teachers and principals for what they do every day with our children. They are also role models and it’s important we give our school system the support that they need to do their job!
What changes to the parish budget and tax structure will you consider to stabilize finances, meet state mandated expenses and invest in parish infrastructure?
We must look at all of our parish expenses, state mandates and compare that to the revenue we are bringing in. I will work hard and look for ways to improve revenue without having to raise taxes. We need some type of revenue sharing in the future with the city of Lafayette and municipalities in regards to future annexation of unincorporated areas that will create future sales tax opportunity. I believe if this would have been done from the beginning of consolidation years ago, the parish would have been in better shape and could be taking care of all of our major issues in the parish today!
How will you improve access to community services, health care, housing and a better quality of life for the disadvantaged in our district?
I will work with our new elected administration to make sure that we are addressing and creating ways to improve this area for all of the parish.
What will you do to invest in drainage infrastructure and develop policies and strategies for stormwater management in our district?
I will make sure we are looking at drainage from a parishwide perspective. Looking at ways we can continue to improve on. One way is by going over our current policies and procedures in regards to development. We must look at all aspects and angles including dredging or spot dredging the Vermilion River. I have already supported investing in Drainage infrastructure with rededication of millages in recent years. Once again, on Oct. 12, the public will be able to vote on sending another 8 million to drainage infrastructure.