The following answers were provided by Jerry Coner running for Council District 3 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?

District 3 is a very large Council District with considerable waterways and drainage areas that all drain through several other Council Districts before disposal into Lake Pontchartrain. Sprawling development removing vegetation and gobbling up needed wetlands that is creating drainage problems and flooding throughout the district.

A considerable amount of land in District 3 is in Flood Zone A. These flood prone areas need special legislation to restrict development to allow for sufficient drainage in these flood zones.

The single most important drainage issue is development. This includes the deforestation and placement of fill for development. Since development is funding the parish, development regulations must be changed to allow for more compact development with more green space limited development in the flood zone areas. 

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?

Seems that economic development is mainly commercial development based primarily on jobs created and sales taxes generated. This rush to have economic development has not created a better quality of life. In fact, it has degraded our quality of life with traffic and drainage problems. The term “Economic Development” should be changed to sustainable development. All development should be required to pass a sustainability test, i.e., prove that the development will not place a burden on past developments and future developments. 

Projects, both residential and commercial developments should be related on a scale of sustainability that includes low impact development guidelines. This scale could be used to grant property tax exemptions to encourage future development that will contribute to St. Tammany’s quality of life.

At this time. I have not seen a development that would be eligible for tax exemptions in St. Tammany Parish.      

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

The parish should require more compact development that can be combined into regional sewerage treatment systems and districts. Small single family lots should not be allowed to be developed with individual sewer systems. 

Over the years, the parish has been lax on sewer and water infrastructure requirements. Private utilities should be made to upgrade their systems prior to the parish acquiring a system. This is another example of sustainability. 

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

Rainfall incidents seem to be getting more severe. New development is flooding existing older development as well as the new development.

I would suggest that ALL HOMES be required to be elevated to require less fill and all development require to be reforested as a part of the subdivision development.