How will you address budget constraints in consolidated government, including the parish budget, from your position on the city council
For the past three budget hearings we have had to address budget constraints and review each department's budget plan for both city and parish. In doing this we have made some adjustments where possible to ensure fiscal responsibility. As a city council member I will be responsible for the city budget and will continue to look for ways to fund services needed and expected by the public. One example will include review of service contracts to determine their costs and benefits to the public. As a member of the parish as well, we will work together with both councils to ensure fiscal stability in both budgets.
How will you promote sustainable economic development that doesn’t add to consolidated government’s financial burden, and diversify the local economy?
Having worked with investors and developers these past four years, I feel I have a better understanding of how we can encourage growth with private funding. With the help of LEDA and the Opportunity Machine, I have seen new businesses and companies invest in our community. As a council member we can work with planning and development to encourage developments that will positively affect and respect our community. There are so many factors that go into encouraging new companies to invest in Lafayette. Besides the basics of roads and drainage needs, there are the quality of life issues as well as our school system's strength, which companies consider before relocating their families here. All these contribute to a successful community, and they all need our attention.
How you will navigate competing interests and opinions on hot-button social issues that periodically come before local government?
As our community grows and we welcome more people to Lafayette, we become a more interesting and diverse place to live. The unique gifts that each of us bring to this area also include many different ideas and viewpoints on issues. As a council member, I am elected to represent my constituents, so I always listen and respect their opinions. As a member of this community, I also have an opinion and I will represent my constituents and myself as best as I can on any social issues that come before the council.
What will you do to fund the repair and improvement of roads and other infrastructure in our district and how will you prioritize them?
Like drainage, our roads have not been maintained as needed. The list of roads that “need immediate attention” is growing, and funding for this is not. We need to solicit funds from the state when state roads are the issue. This requires contact with our state legislators to push for these funds. Moving forward we need to look to other cities our size for new ideas on how we can fund our roads and infrastructure.
What will you do to invest in drainage infrastructure and develop policies and strategies for stormwater management in our district?
As a current council member, I have participated in the rededication of funds to drainage and reported areas of my district that need attention. I have also secured $5 million in the current budget to dredge the Vermilion River, a Corps of Engineers waterway. I have also been involved in meetings with members of the Corps, the Mississippi River Commission and our Watershed Council to establish a plan for our entire watershed district.
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