Three questions were presented to each of the candidates.
Thomas “Trey” Brownfield did not respond to the questions.
Here are the answers provided by the other candidate, Kim Baronet Harbison (I)
1. There are two issues that impact virtually everyone in St. Tammany Parish and especially Slidell – problems with household water quality and drainage. Both of these are essential for a safe and healthy quality of life. What are your plans to address these issues? Please be specific.
Water quality inside our city limits is and has been good. The DEQ’s required tests have proven to meet or exceed levels of water quality. We recently have invested $125,000,000.00 to improve the city’s drainage system. We need to continue to fight for more federal dollars to raise homes and businesses. Continue to require new construction to build to flood plain recommendations. Unfortunately, drainage will continue to be an ever evolving problem that the city will continue to address. A more imitate problem that needs to be address is the rising cost of flood insurance.
2. The trend nationwide favors on-line shopping over shopping in a “brick and mortar” mall. The closure of mall stores creates many problems. These stores are susceptible to vandalism; there is a loss of tax revenue; and the are is seen as a “ghost town” which drives other businesses away. This is an important issue that must be addressed. What are your plans to rehabilitate the closed malls in Slidell?
The mall is a privately owned piece of property. We have been trying to find buyers for the mall and even setup a meeting with a company and the owners. There was a fair offer made but it was rejected. The latest tract of efforts being made by the city, Kim Bergeron with investors, is to create a satellite movie studio and sound stages in one location that provides film and television production. It could also provide multiple support buildings, production offices and a state of the art education facility.
3. The downside of economic development is that it results in localized traffic congestion. How do you propose to be proactive to avoid traffic problems?
The best way to address traffic problems is to continually work with the Regional Planning Commission to tap revenue sources to install more round abouts, J turns or channelizing intersections – traffic devices to create continues traffic flow.