Why do you want to be Mayor of Abita Springs?
- To improve the lives of the citizens of Abita Springs by providing great town services.
What three accomplishments in your political, personal, or business career are you most proud of?
- As a single parent I was able to see both my sons get a college degree without any student loans and have successful careers.
- My volunteer work has affected Abita Springs more than anyone else in Abita Springs
- The Abita Mystery House was commemorated in a happy meal at a national fast food restaurant.
What is your vision for Abita Springs at the end of your four year term? What will you do to improve and enhance the quality of life for Abita Springs’ residents, businesses, and visitors?
- I want to keep Abita Abita. Of course no one can do that. But as the town grows I do believe with good guidance in the town hall, the look and feel of Abita can be had.
- After my term in office Abita will have water that doesn’t taste like a swimming pool.
- After my term raw sewage will not overflow onto the streets after a heavy rain.
- After my term the town hall will be a transparent town hall with the help of a friendly staff, an active use of the social media, and a user-friendly website.
- After my term Abita will be well known for more than a Brewery.
- After my term citizens will realize that they can easily have input with the town’s policy making committees and they will comfortable offering their opinions in public forums.
List several projects in which you have had significant impact and how you affected the outcome.
- Founded and produced the Abita Springs Whole-Town Garage Sale – this is the largest event in Abita Springs and has had an estimated economic impact of over million dollars.
- Founded and produced the Louisiana Bicycle Festival – this is one of the largest and longest running bicycle festivals in the USA and had an estimated economic impact of hundreds of thousands of dollars
- One of the original organizers of the Abita Springs Water Festival
- Co-founded with my wife the Abita Springs Push-Mow Mardi Gras parade – we did this parade for years with the city’s blessing, no official organization sponsorship and taking all the liability on ourselves.
- First president of the Abita Middle School PTA
- Co-founder of FOHA, Friends Of Historic Abita – the organization that saved the Abita Springs Historic District from being abolished. The first meeting was in my dining room.
- Former president of the Abita Springs Civic Association – this is the organization that was the first sponsor of the Whole Town Garage Sale
- Former board member of the Abita Springs Trailhead Museum
- Founder of the Facebook Group “Abita Springs Bulletin Board” (approximately 3000 members) – This is the most common way citizens of Abita share information. Lost dogs and cats were found because I had the vision to start this bulletin board.
- Founder of the Facebook Group “Abita Springs Good News Bulletin Board” (approximately 530 members) – When members of the regular FB bulletin board did not approve of the discussion of drug dealing in the town’s park I founded this “good news” platform
- Founder of the Facebook Group “Abita Springs Master Planners” (approximately 250 members) – when it was called to my attention that the town needed a forum that was exclusively for property owners and voters in Abita Springs, I started this group.
- Founder of the Facebook Group “Abita Springs Old Photos Sharing Group” (approximately 300 members) – As a member of the Trailhead Museum (Abita’s historic museum) I realized that there were only a handful of original photos of old Abita Springs, I started this forum to solicit historic photos and memories of our town
- Founder of the Facebook Group “Abita Springs Marketplace” (approximately 300 members) – This group was a simple idea to have our citizens to exchange ideas of commerce
- Founded the tabloid “Explore St. Tammany” – now regularly published by the St. Tammany Tourist Commission – this is the premiere publication about tourism in St Tammany and I actually bankrolled the first edition to illustrate to the area the value of such a magazine.
Please rank your top three priorities for this new term and outline your plan for implementing these priorities.
- Fix the taste of the water by getting an expert to investigate the problem.
- Continue fixing the sewage so raw sewage does not flow on the streets after a heavy rain
- Make the town hall more transparent by posting on social media and having a more robust website that with accurate information
What changes to procedures or new ordinances/laws will you propose and/or implement?
- I would like to live stream public meetings held at the town hall.
Please rank your top three priorities for the next four years and outline your plan for implementing them. Indicate how your priorities will grow our community while also preserving our roots.
- Continue fixing the sewage so raw sewage does not flow on the streets after a heavy rain. This will take years and cost millions. I would hire a part time grant writer to look for grant money.
- Make the town hall more transparent by posting on social media and having a more robust website that with accurate information.I would have every town employee write a short daily report on line about what that employee did that day. I would have a website that would offer clearer information on the laws and regulations of the town. I would institute an alert system that would notify citizens by email and phones of emergency situations.
- I would offer more non gambling family friendly activities in the town hall.
What changes, if any, do you support regarding new rules, procedures, or ordinances and why?
- no comment
Other than raising property millage rates, what plans, if any, do you have to increase town revenues in ways that are consistent with economic growth and a healthy, prosperous, livable, and safe community?
- By offering better town hall services to the businesses and citizens we will illustrate to potential businesses and home builders that this town is a good place to live and have a business. This will generate more tax.
What changes, if any, will you recommend to the Aldermen that may reduce expenses while maintaining or enhancing the quality of life in Abita Springs?
- Past groups aldermen had individual aldermen responsible on different aspects of Abita, i.e. plumbing, finance, laws, etc.This may be a way of getting a more responsible chain of command. But it will be up to the aldermen to decide this.
Do you have any recommendations for changes/modifications to current zoning and planning laws and decisions that will ensure that as the town grows our cultural and historical significance will not be compromised?
- Any new large developments should look and feel like Abita. If this means that these large developments must adhere to a certain aesthetics than that is would should happen.
What are your thoughts and plans in the development of a Master Plan?.
- Plans are great and they will give the town direction.
What is your position regarding the proposal for hydraulic fracturing in St. Tammany Parish? What actions have you taken? What other environmental issues do you consider important for Abita Springs?
- I have spent hundreds of dollars printing signs and bumper stickers opposing fracking. If you saw a no fracking sign or bumper sticker, I probably paid for it.I have also spoken publicly against fracking. I oppose any environmental issue bad for our quality of life.
What environmental issues do you consider important to Abita Springs?
- I oppose any environmental issue that hurts our quality of life.
What else would you like to share with voters to help them make their decision?
- I was citizen of the year in Abita Springs.
- I am a former professor at Loyola University New Orleans
- I Have enjoyed several smaller enterprises… from beekeeping to working as a refrigeration mechanic, and everything in between. This has enriched my life and made me a well-rounded citizen.
- I was raised in St. Bernard Parish, where my father founded the local library the chess club and helped create the first Presbyterian church.
- My father was a mathematician, and my mother was a schoolteacher, and both were involved with numerous civic and church groups. They still inspire me.
- My “brushes with celebrity” include: being in an elevator with Barbara Eden, befriending actor Matt Dillion when he was recently staying at my hotel, meeting Princess Diana, and talking to Mother Theresa on the telephone.
- I live a robust and creative life with a passion for enterprise. As a single parent I was able to see both of my sons get college degrees without any student loans. When my wife died soon after Katrina the people of Abita Springs showed incredible compassion to my sons and me. I will never forget that