Pair of Republicans battle for District 3 seat

Republican candidates Walter Pilié and Webb Jay IV will face off in October for the St. Charles Parish Council District III seat, a position soon to be vacated by termed out Council Member Dick Gibbs.

Pilié, 71, and Jay, 42, are both Destrehan residents, each bringing a distinctive set of experiences to their Parish Council campaigns. Jay is a business owner who runs a local real estate brokerage firm, while Pilié is an engineer who spent much of his career involved with offshore oil and gas production before formally retiring eight years ago.

Jay previously ran for the same District III position eight years ago. He has served as the Ormond Civic Association president since 2011 and was appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment in 2016, a board he currently chairs. A nonprofit advocate, Jay has served multiple nonprofit causes over the years, and says he served as a youth minister for around 20 years.

“I’m also on the St. Charles Parish Housing Authority [Board], since around 2016-2017, and I’ve been the chair of that board for the last six or so years,” Jay commented.

Continued focus on drainage and recreation will be two top priorities for Jay if elected.

“I feel like everyone that runs for this office, those are two priorities that always come up -drainage and recreation, but I think it’s necessary to continue that [focus].”
Drainage has long been a major issue for residents in District III, Jay said, and continuing to tackle drainage and infrastructure projects is paramount.

“I want to put a priority on drainage and infrastructure to make sure none of our residents flood,” he said.

Increasing public safety and the overall quality of life are two other focal points for Jay he plans to address if elected to the District III position.

“One of the reasons people come to St. Charles Parish to stay is because of our quality of life,” said Jay. “But just because we have a good quality of life doesn’t mean that we can’t improve upon what we have.”

Given Jay’s experience operating a local real estate brokerage, he has seen the firsthand effects of the current insurance crisis St. Charles Parish residents have faced.

“One of the biggest issues facing all of us right now is increases in insurance, flood insurance,” he commented. “I want to be a spokesperson for our local residents with state and federal officials…and make sure that [insurance is] at the forefront of the minds of those who can make policy decisions to impact our insurance rates.”

District III candidate Pilié’s experience in St. Charles Parish government extends to zoning, as he was at one time on the Zoning Board of Adjustments and was also on a Bonnie Carre Spillway Committee prior to the Army Corps of Engineers taking over its management. He is currently a district captain for the Convention of States Action, a national grass roots activist organization. The District III candidate said he has spoken around 25 different times at Parish Council meetings over the years on various topics he felt passionately about.

Pilié became part of a local citizens committee on drainage following 2020 floods that damaged various portions of St. Charles Parish, flood waters he was personally affected by.

“That’s my passion – I don’t want to flood again, and I don’t want my neighbors to flood again,” Pilié said. “That’s something I [will] always [be] involved in, whether I win this election or not…we have to fix this. This is our number one problem in St. Charles Parish.”

Drainage and infrastructure are two other areas Pilié plans to focus his efforts on if elected to the District III seat, areas his engineering background may be of benefit to parish residents.

“They’ve got a slew of [identified projects] on the master drainage plan, but yet the money is so incredibly large that in order to do anything, you’re going to have to prioritize and get the best bang for the buck,” Pilié explained, an ordering process he aims to get deeply involved in if elected.

Monitoring future and current real estate developments closely to prevent flooding for neighboring areas, as well as the developments themselves, is also an area he plans to continue to tackle as a new council member.

“Make sure that [developers] do things that are not going to flood any adjacent properties or their own,” Pilié commented, citing the recent Victoria Estates development project in neighboring District VI as an example of work he’s already done. “I’ve gone as far to even get the drainage impact analysis a couple of years ago before [the Victoria Estates development] was even finalized.”

Pilié contributed additional thoughts on St. Charles Parish schools and first responders such as law enforcement and firefighters.

“We have good schools, we have good police protection – let’s continue to make sure those are in good shape and properly funded,” said Pilié. “Firefighters – those guys need more permanent positions, and they also need to be better funded, in my opinion.”

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply