The following answers were provided by Steve Stefancik (Incumbent) running for Council District 11 in St. Tammany Parish:

1. What do you think is the single most important drainage issue in your district and what are your proposals to solve and fund it?

Ans.  As my district is so large and diverse there is not a single drainage issue that is more important than the others. Most of the drainage issues in my district are confined to a given area such as Sticker Bay Road, Gum Creek, Bayou Liberty area and Ozone Woods area. We are using public works funds to fix sticker bay road problem and Gum creek. Bayou Liberty had a drainage study and we are using a Federal grant to resolve hot spot problems. We are also looking at how to control litter runoff from the Northshore mall area to reduce contamination on the scenic bayou Ozone Woods is beginning a study that is funded by a federal grant to correct several drainage problems in Ozone Woods with potential funding from $5 million to $15 million to correct drainage and hot spot problems.

2. What is your definition of economic development in St. Tammany Parish? What criteria should be used in granting property tax exemptions and what property tax exemptions do you support?

Ans. Economic Development to me is bringing jobs to St. Tammany Parish.  We are an excellent place for distribution centers such as AWG and Rooms to Go as we have access to interstates in all directions.  I would support  these and other clean manufacturing with some property tax exemptions for limited time based on job creation. The companies would need to provide evidence at target points to show that they have met the criteria and should continue to receive the exemptions for the time scheduled.

3. Should the parish government acquire, operate and maintain private sewage and water systems?  Why or why not?

Ans. Cities should own, operate and maintain a sewage and water system in their jurisdiction. I do not believe that the parish should be involved in maintaining these systems in the parish. There are many such systems in the parish and they would best be run by private enterprise and private owners who could operate these systems more efficient than the parish and a cheaper cost to the system users. 

4. Heavy rain events are becoming more frequent and severe.  How has this impacted your district?  What are your plans for mitigating the effects?

Ans.  We have addressed areas of concern in my district and will continue to do so. We try to keep ahead of the problems and develop solutions so that they can be implemented before we have such events. We built a large retention pond on Cypress Bayou that is now protecting over 1400 homes and will handle any new development in the area.  We acquired some donations and purchased some land in low areas along Bayou Liberty to allow the bayou to expand during heavy storms and recess to dry areas after the runoff. We have routed water around populated areas to reduce any flooding. Years ago houses were flooding constantly. Today there is rarely a house that floods in my district.  We will continue to study my district and mitigate any areas as a precaution to future rain cycles.