The following answers were provided by Pat Brister (Incumbent) running for Parish President in St. Tammany Parish:

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

The Parish currently owns and operates approximately 30% of the sewage and water systems in St. Tammany Parish. The system was purchased before I took office. I would not purchase more.

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 is finding the businesses that are compatible with St. Tammany Parish and attempting to bring them to our Parish or help current businesses grow. Any exemptions should be based on the jobs and revenue a company brings to a Parish. I would support exemptions based on these factors. 

3. The St. Tammany Parish Council votes to allow the Parish President to enter into each Private/Parish Partnership Agreement.  Should they be made public and the Parish Council approve these Agreements prior to the Parish President actually signing them?

I have no problem with the Council approving them. 

4. Given the frequency of serious vehicular accidents on I-12 between State Highway 59 and State Highway 1077, what do you suggest can be done immediately to lessen the danger that obviously exists? Please explain.

We’ve requested additional signage and slow traffic notices be installed years ago. The state was not supportive of that request given the permitting process and plans to widen I-12  were already underway. Parish Government secured $25M in federal funds through a BUILD grant for the first phase of I-12 widening between LA21 and US190. We also worked with State officials to secure an additional $52M in federal redistribution funds to widen between US190 and LA59. Third and final phase between LA21 and LA1077 is under design and we are actively working to secure the funding for that portion now. The State is bidding this contract in November of 2019 and work will be underway soon after that. 

5.  Most of St. Tammany Parish is rural and a large number of the residents living there lack personal transportation.  As a result, rural residents lack opportunities for good jobs and, most importantly, lack access to medical care. What specific plans do you have to address the critical needs of our rural citizens?

The Parish does have a public transit system that is operated by COAST, Council on Aging St. Tammany. It services both rural and urban areas of St. Tammany and is a curb to curb, demand response program. Each vehicle is handicapped accessible and lift-equipped and all residents are eligible to book rides. Registered COAST clients ride for free and others pay a low fare. We do not currently have a revenue source to support a full service transit system across the Parish.