7 council members will run for re-election
Seven of the nine Parish Council members say they will seek re-election in October, with only Councilmen Terry Authement and Marcus Lambert choosing to leave office.
Authement is running for parish assessor while Lambert will not seek re-election because he wants to focus on his professional and family life.
Councilman Shelley Tastet believes that if all seven members win re-election, the returning experience will be important when it comes to getting government funding for projects such as the West Bank levee.
“I ran the first time to get the permit for the West Bank levee and we did that,” Tastet said. “Right now I want to go ahead and complete grubbing, putting dirt down and go to Washington and get money for the levee. We have good relationships with the Corps and in Washington…they are working with us and they know us. We need to keep as many people on the council as we can so we won't lose a step.”
Councilman Dennis Nuss said that his top priority will also be levee protection on the West Bank of St. Charles. He also hopes to secure sewerage and drainage improvements, especially in the Cornado Park and Lagatutta subdivisions.
“In addition, the need to grow recreational park areas, encourage appropriate traffic studies and keep our roads safe, promote recycling education, and maintain our great parish's overall quality of life all continue to be important issues,” he added.
Besides drainage and levee improvements, another hot topic is parish recreation. Councilman Billy Raymond wants four more years in office in order to give parish children a safe place to play.
“I like children and being able to bring things such as improved recreation, both parks and facilities, mean a lot,” he said. “Improved infrastructure, such as the upkeep of streets in a down economy is also a challenge, but something I take pride in working with others to obtain.”
Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto also wants to push recreation and road improvement in Ormond.
“I would like to see Ormond Boulevard re-stripped, reconstruct our community park behind the fire station to conform to our neighborhood and allow for other recreation,” she said. “Most importantly I want to stay on top of the Dunlieth Canal project that will help relieve the residents from losing backyard.”
Councilman Larry Cochran said that he will continue to support drainage, sewerage and water improvements along with recreation and recycling.
“While many projects have been completed, others are currently in progress to make our community a better place to live and work,” he said.
Councilman Paul Hogan said he will continue to make decisions based on uniformly applying and interpreting the parish's codes on code-related issues. He also said he will not accept any campaign donations or contributions.
“That way it cannot be said that I owe anyone,” he said.
And while Hogan won't accept money during his campaign, Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnaydre said she has saved the parish millions of tax dollars during her four years in office while being there for her constituents.
“I have personally answered all my phone calls and emails and attended all meetings,” she said. “All of my votes were based on following our rules and regulations of this parish, not on who were my friends and certain contractors or engineers.
“I was never scared to question when the questions needed to be asked.”
Candidates begin qualifying for the election on Sept. 6-8 and the election will take on Oct. 22.
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Legislators vow to help parish fight huge insurance increases - 545 views
Parish President V.J. St. Pierre, along with eight other parish presidents and representatives from five other parishes, visited Washington, D.C. to talk to officials about the potential spike in local flood insurance premiums should large portions of the Biggert-Waters Act be allowed to take effect in October.