The following answers were provided by Carlo Hernandez running for Council District 7 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?

Drainage is definitely an important issue in Council District 7, impacting many areas in the district and beyond.  Using existing funding and resources, and working with citizens, the Department of Public Works, the Engineering Department, etc., we would identify drainage ditches and canals to be cleaned and improved.  We would also identify driveway culverts that need to cleaned or replaced, and possible funding for same when homeowners or businesses do not have the funds.  Also identify drainage ponds that need to be cleaned, improved or constructed, and program funds to accomplish same.

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?

Economic development in St. Tammany should create and maintain job opportunities in areas appropriately zoned for these activities.  The St. Tammany Corporation is governed by a Board of Commissioners consisting of 11 members and it is the lead economic development organization for the parish.  At present the Parish Council has the ability to grant property tax exemptions, and I would support those that have adhered to all regulations.  Also, the business must be in good standing with all regulatory bodies, including having paid all taxes due.

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

Yes, parish government should acquire, operate and maintain private sewage and water systems.  In years past, St. Tammany has acquired private sewage and water systems, including services provided in portions of Council District 7.  Parish government has made these purchases and improvements to water and sewage systems using low cost bond funds and other funding sources not usually available to private operators who are profit motivated.  Most large sewage and water systems are publicly owned and benefit by being able to acquire supplies and many services through public bids.

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

The heavy rain events have impacted Council District 7.  More drainage ditches need to be cleaned and improved.  The areas with subsurface drains need to be inspected and replaced as needed.  Driveway culverts also need to be inspected, cleaned and replaced as needed.  I support the efforts to continue implementing regional detention ponds and the use of existing funding sources to acquire properties to build additional drainage ponds.