Mandeville Municipal Candidates' Forum: March 3, 2004

Mandeville Council-at-Large Candidates (Elect 2 of 4)

QUESTION #1 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
Please list three reasons why you are running for this position. As a lifelong resident of Mandeville, I know first hand what makes our city special. It's more than just three reasons. The people, the small town charm, safe neighborhoods and its natural beauty are key elements of Mandeville's character. As a leader on the city council, I have proven my commitment to protect our quality of life while building upon our unique history. It's time to change the way our city council does business. Being a lifelong native of Mandeville, I remember when city government represented the interests and ideals of it's people; provided avenues of growth in homestead and business, while protecting the quality of life and historical charm of the city; I believe city officials should be receptive to the needs and concerns of it's citizens, respect their ideas, and find solutions that serve the people, who put their trust in them, and discuss the issues in an open "public" forum, and not make deals in the back rooms of City Hall.
QUESTION #2 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
What are your top three legislative priorities should you be elected to this seat? Continue the fight for improvements to widen US Highways 190 & 22. Continue implementing our master drainage plan to protect our neighborhoods from flooding. Annexation of Fontainebleau State Park, Pelican Park and the Nature Center into the corporate limits of the city of Mandeville. Traffic flow improvement (streets & highways). Drainage improvement. Public Safety.
QUESTION #3 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
What changes will you propose to improve the quality of life for the residents of Mandeville? It's not so much about what needs to change to improve the quality of life for our residents, but rather what needs to remain the same. The residents have chosen to call Mandeville home for many reasons, but the overwhelming reason is to maintain our unique character and charm. Respect the citizens and their recommendations that serve on various city committees, I.e., Special Events, Keep Mandeville Beautiful, Community Appearance, etc. Eliminate some of the unsightly and unnecessary signs that line our streets and walking/bike paths. Maintain a top quality Police Department with the necessary funding to insure modern equipment, personnel training, and procedures are kept up to date with national standards. Maintain a website (personal), that encourages citizens to input concerns and generates a response back, to those concerns listing proposed action taken. Insure that the official city website is maintained and up to date in working order. (On Feb. 1, 2004, the City website Bulletin Board was last updated on Wednesday, July 2, 2003 at 3:21pm.)
QUESTION #4 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
How will you unify the different parts of the City of Mandeville? The only way we can truly unify our city is through the transportation of its people. The need to fund the widening of U.S. Highways 190 and 22 are paramount in tying our communities together. The other, which is well underway, is the continued implementation of our master bicycle and pedestrian plan, which ties us together without the use of automobiles. I would establish a citizens advisory group comprised of representatives of homeowners associations, business associations, recreation associations, social clubs, and churches who would meet quarterly to address concerns. This would allow for the sharing of information and concerns to a broader range of people and allow them to be part of the governmental process. In addition I would insure that city funding is spent fairly in each district.
QUESTION #5 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
What steps will you take to increase the amount of green space and parks within the city limits of Mandeville? The acquisition of wetlands on the western most part of our city and the future annexation of Fontainebleau State Park, Pelican Park and the Nature Center will in fact make Mandeville become 50% green. I feel that a certain amount of the city budget should be set aside for acquiring additional green space and parks within the city limits, however, I feel we should limit those purchases until we are able to maintain the property and parks we presently have.
QUESTION #6 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
What are your plans for further marsh acquisition in Western Mandeville? Currently, we are negotiating the acquisition of approximately 300 acres of wetlands from Rene Ferran. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, our partner in previous land acquisitions, is working closely with us in securing this property. I also want the City of Mandeville to approach other landowners in western Mandeville to do the same to protect our valuable wetlands. I have no plans for further marsh acquisition in Western Mandeville, at the present time.
QUESTION #7 DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
What changes, if any, will you propose to the CLURO? In my opinion, the CLURO needs a complete codification overhaul. Since its adoption in 1992, there have been many changes and improvements. It is now time to re-examine its focus by integrating our land use regulations into our annexation growth plan. I don't propose to make any changes to the CLURO. Any changes needed to be made should be at the request of the city planner, and other city department heads. The provisions of these Land Use Regulations shall be administered by the city planner, the building inspector and the director of the Department of Public Works, who shall have the power to make inspections of buildings or premises necessary to carry out their administrative duties in the enforcement of these regulations.

Biographical Data

DENIS BECHAC (Incumbent) BILL DOBSON
Graduate, 1984, St. Paul's High School, Covington. B.A. Marketing & Finance, Southeastern LA Univ. Married, Rhonda Nastasi Bechac, 1 daughter, Madeleine. Member, Our Lady of the Lake. Employed by LA Heart Hospital, Lacombe. Professional Memberships Include: LA Business Group on Health, LABI, LA Hospital Assoc., LA Business Congress, LA Assoc. of Focused Care Facilities, St. Tammany Parish Quality Assurance Panel. Current Political & Civic Involvement: Currently serving as Councilman at Large & Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Mandeville, President of the St. Tammany Municipal Assoc., Republican State Central Committee member, St. Tammany West, Greater Slidell, & Bayou Lacombe (board member) Chambers member, American Heart Assoc., Coastal Conservation Assoc., Habitat for Humanity, Northshore Rep. Men's Club, 4th Degree, Knights of Columbus, #9240. Life long St. Tammany & Mandeville resident. District 3 resident. Married, Glenda Pickering Dobson, RN, BSN. 1 daughter. Graduate Mandeville High School. Attended SLU & LSU, majoring in Law Enforcement & Criminology. U.S. Air Force Veteran. Retired Law Enforcement Officer. Over 30 years of public service in St. Tammany. Co-Founder and owner of Applied Marine Technology. Commissioner & Vice Chair, St. Tammany Fire Protection District #4. Registered Republican. Decorated for Heroism, US Air Force. Law Officer of the Year, Kiwanis International. Who's Who in Law Enforcement, 1991. Outstanding Achievement Awards, LA Emergency Preparedness Association & National Assoc. for Search & Rescue. Member of many groups including St. Timothy United Methodist Church. LA Assoc. of Fairs & Festivals, President-Mandeville Seafood Festival.

Mandeville Municipal Candidates' Forum: March 3, 2004

Mandeville Council-at-Large Candidates (Elect 2 of 4)

QUESTION #1 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
Please list three reasons why you are running for this position. With 8 years combined experience on the Council and Planning & Zoning Commissions, I have been actively involved in critical city-wide issues and would like to continue my service to the citizens. I enjoy working with citizens to address their needs and concerns. I have a documented record of representation with proven results, excellent attendance, accessibility, and the ability to commit the time necessary to be an effective councilwoman at large. I am seeking re-election for the following 3 reasons. 1. To protect the city I love from over development and to keep it a family oriented community. 2. I now know there is an urgent need for a continued legislative voice on the Mandeville city council. There are very little checks and balances in the city and that could get even worse depending on this elections outcome. 3. I'm a natural leader and have a great ability to work with people at all levels.
QUESTION #2 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
What are your top three legislative priorities should you be elected to this seat? Zoning and other changes to properties near Highway 190 to assure that parcels left after expropriations by State DOTD are developed within the spirit of our Comprehensive Plan. Legislation to assure that the extent of development in the B-3 Old Mandeville Business District results in the compatibility of residences and businesses. Develop intergovernmental agreement with Parish for development in Priority 2 annexation area to insure most restrictive of the standards between city and parish apply. 1. It is critical we overhaul our current drainage. 2. To find ways to cut city spending so we have more flexibility to make capital improvements. 3. To continue expanding our pedestrian pathways throughout the city.
QUESTION #3 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
What changes will you propose to improve the quality of life for the residents of Mandeville? Working with members of the Council, I will sponsor, co-sponsor, or support anything to assure that our police department remains well equipped and trained with a high retention rate; we maintain aggressive street, drainage, and water improvement programs; and our growth management efforts remain a model for other communities. I am specifically interested in increasing open space set asides, expanding our bike and pedestrian paths, and making the CLURO a better, easier to use document. I propose we tighten our restrictions on businesses and retail development that are harshly impacting our drainage situation in the city.
QUESTION #4 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
How will you unify the different parts of the City of Mandeville? Mandeville's citizens are already unified in wanting to preserve the character of the community and maintain a high quality of life. There is overwhelming support for this as evidenced by public response to the architectural review/design guidelines implemented for commercial development. There is no east or west, or old or new in this regard. We should continue to unify the town geographically through more bicycle and pedestrian paths and projects to facilitate cross-town traffic flow. I don't feel that our city is not already unified. I'd like to physically connect them further with pedestrian pathways.
QUESTION #5 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
What steps will you take to increase the amount of green space and parks within the city limits of Mandeville? More programs like the Neighborwoods project I initiated, which will demonstrate how green space can be used to manage urban stormwater runoff and serve as a neighborhood park; seek additional funding to create local passive parks within the city. Preservation of wetlands and habitat along the four major scenic bayous in the city through purchase, easements, or other mechanisms. A larger percentage of green space set asides required by developers of large projects. We need to acquire properties that we can afford to acquire and dedicate them as green space areas. That starts with adjusting our current spending habits.
QUESTION #6 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
What are your plans for further marsh acquisition in Western Mandeville? Mandeville has already acquired about 1400 acres of marshland in that area for its wetlands assimilation program and wildlife habitat preservation. Our annexation agreement with the Parish calls for extending the City across the remainder of the marsh between this property and the Tchefuncte River. We should continue to seek funding to acquire and preserve this land as open space, perhaps in partnership with organizations like the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Nature Conservancy. I have no plans for further acquisitions. While I completely support our Waste Water plant I don't feel expropriation is a good thing. It's against my ideals to expropriate. I know it was necessary in this case but I wouldn't like to do more unless absolutely critical.
QUESTION #7 TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
What changes, if any, will you propose to the CLURO? I totally support again retaining consultant Michael Lauer to help in updating the CLURO. It is an award-winning ordinance, but it's over 10 years old and needs a comprehensive review. Our amendments involving Wal-Mart and other development issues are examples of improvements that should have been, and were, made. With Mr. Lauer's help, we should look at both substantive improvements and other changes that would make this very large document clear and easier to use. I think we just need to enforce the CLURO we have and not give variances to choice individuals. If any change I'd like to put in place stricter rules for development.

Biographical Data

TRILBY LENFANT JAY MAGGIO (Incumbent)
Resident of Mandeville, District 1 for 17 years. Bachelor's Degree, LSU. Graduate, Leadership St. Tammany West (2000 Alumnus of the Year). Married to Jay Lenfant, 4 children, 1 grandchild. Current District 1 Councilwoman. 4 years service on Mandeville Planning & Zoning Commission. President, Board of Directors for Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum. Board Member, St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce. Chair, Wooden Boat Festival. Member Northlake Republican Women. Member/Past President of Beau Rivage Homeowners Assoc. (3 terms). Current Resident of District 3 (3 years) and a fourth generation citizen of Mandeville. Attended Our Lady of the Lake, Mandeville High School, and have a B.A. in Sociology & Criminology from LSU. Married to Jennifer for 6 years. One daughter, Lilly. Employed by Toland Enterprises as the Key Accounts & Specialty Retail Manager. I am seeking my second term as councilman at large. I was elected in October 2000 in a special election to fill a vacant seat. I am the only current councilman that was popularly elected this term. I was a member of the LA Air National Guard for 8 years and held a Top Secret security clearance and received many awards. Board Member, Greater Mandeville Seafood Festival.