Chris Tregre's concerns that residents living in St. Charles Parish have no levee protection and properties being reassessed in 2008 will burden homeowners with soaring tax rates, convinced him that he should join the race for parish president.
Seven years ago when Tregre’s term ended, he says, the parish president blamed him for not getting the permit needed to build the levees at a council meeting.
"He got to tell his side of the story but nobody covered my side - not the Times Picayune, L'Observateur, or the Herald-Guide." Tregre said.“I had a dispute with the Army Corps of Engineers about where the levee should be built,” he continues.
"I served as parish president from 1992-2000 and for seven years I have kept my silence, but it's water under the bridge. Now it's time to give the people what's missing from this office - a sound plan to fix the levees and carry it through, expansion of the water treatment facility, and proper distribution of the millage so it doesn't affect the homeowner's property taxes."
Tregre states that if homes are reassessed for almost 20 to 30 percent higher than their current market value, it’s the parish president’s responsibility to make sure the mills are levied equitably.
“The problem with the property taxes is that the millage is not being distributed properly,” he continues.
"When do we start to resolve the problem in this parish? When people start losing their homes because they can't afford to pay?"
Tregre says if elected to the office, he'll put together an organizational team to find out what's going on immediately,
and one of the areas the team will examine is if parish workers are being paid a comparable wage.
"Our parish workers deserve to be paid on the same level with other civil service workers - you just can't expect a laborer to live on a $6.50 per hour wage," Tregre says.
Tregre wants to address the need for community improvements in Killona, New Sarpy, and Ama.
"During my first go round as parish president, I established a community development team that used grant money to refurbish homes for older residents in these areas of the parish and we made other repairs in these communities,”
“I want these residents to know they are as much a part of this community as anyone else," he continues.
Tregre also hired a grant writer during his previous term in office who was responsible for finding free money from the government to fund projects for various organizations.
"I will bring back my grants person to seek government funding to sponsor projects from the parish level all the way to the sheriff's office," Tregre tells the Herald-Guide.
Tregre, served as parish councilman for District 1 which covers Hahnville, Killona, and parts of Luling in 1984.
He is a self-employed carpenter and also owend a hardware business that he sold in 1997.
"I work hard for the things that I have - I just recently completed building my house,” Tregre said.
“You can see by my hands that I do hard work for a living and that's the same dedication and commitment that I will bring to the office of parish president."