Mandeville Municipal Candidates' Forum: March 3, 2004

Mandeville Council District 1 Candidates

Please list three reasons why you are running for this position. I am running for Mandeville City Council, District 1, 1) because it is an extension of the civic duties I already perform for our community, 2) Because I want to enhance the City's efforts in protecting our quality of life, 3) Because my goal is to be proactive by ensuring that development that occurs upstream doesn't impact those of us who are downstream. I want to ensure that we have "smart growth." I want to represent the residents of District 1 and be their voice at city hall. As a public servant I will work with the council members and the administration to protect Mandeville's identity as a bedroom community. I will be an advocate for pro-active planning. We must implement a strategy that improves our infrastructure and drainage systems before future development occurs. My goal is to get the citizens involved in city government.
What are your top three legislative priorities should you be elected to this seat? My first legislative priority is to build coalitions with other legislators to create new legislation that changes the way DOTD prioritizes road construction projects. My second legislative priority is to provide for additional density control measures. And my third legislative priority is to ensure legislation is in place to anticipate future growth of our police department so that its officers are properly trained and the department fully funded. Study the use of impact and service fees as a way of improving our infrastructure and slowing down the proliferation of high density development. Explore creative solutions to bring the resources of the State, Causeway Commission, Parish Government, and the cities of St. Tammany together to collectively implement parish-wide highway and roads programs. Identify resources to immediately implement drainage relief programs for District 1, offsetting the impact of the explosive growth of the last 10 years.
What changes will you propose to improve the quality of life for the residents of Mandeville? Two changes that would improve our quality of life in Council District 1 are easing traffic congestion and managing commercial creep. Aside from these two issues, if you look at the condition of our City, you will find it is in good stable condition. Our City has the highest city bond rating in the State. Our City has the highest fire rating in the State. And our City has a very low crime rate. I will meet with each of the subdivisions in my district to identify the major issues affecting them. Brainstorm with the residents to develop solutions, then organize and present the issues and solutions to the council and administration. I will then work with the council and administration to find the resources to implement these solutions. I want to be known as the city councilman who brought the citizens back into city government.
How will you unify the different parts of the City of Mandeville? The one common denominator for unifying the different parts of the City of Mandeville is protecting our way of life. To protect our way of life we must have adequate roadways, additional density control measures, and a properly trained and fully funded police department. I had the good fortune of growing up in Mandeville. I have lived in Old Mandeville, New Golden Shores, Old Golden Shores, and Fontainebleau. Therefore I have the unique perspective of understanding the needs of the entire city. I believe I can be a bridge that ties the different parts of Mandeville together. We are truly blessed to have the conveniences of a modern city and the charm and character of a small town.
What steps will you take to increase the amount of green space and parks within the city limits of Mandeville? To increase the amount of green space and parks within the city limits, I would not approve a new development's permits until he has fully satisfied our vision for green space, density, drainage, and roads. I believe it is in the best interest of Mandeville to continue to invest in green space for both aesthetic and practical reasons. By purchasing additional green space surrounding our drainage right of ways we protect these natural flood planes. By preserving these areas from development we give our residents additional protection from hurricanes and excessive rains. Therefore allocating funds and developing a strategic plan of acquisition is of the utmost importance.
What are your plans for further marsh acquisition in Western Mandeville? I support our City's efforts in attempting to acquire 1,300 additional acres of marshland in District 1. Where available and affordable to the citizens of Mandeville, I will actively pursue marshland acquisitions before losing them to new private development. Those marshlands will be used for wetland assimilation. Our wetlands and marshes our critical to the health of our lake and for the drainage of our city. I propose to continue the city's aggressive policy of seeking grants and federal funding for the acquisition of more wetlands. Additionally, we should create a sinking fund to earmark city money for future acquisitions.
What changes, if any, will you propose to the CLURO? CLURO has served the City of Mandeville well. Changes I would propose to CLURO (Comprehensive Land Use Regulation Ordinance) are to make it more user-friendly. CLURO is a massive document that does not always lead the reader in a logical path of action. For example, had Fountainebleau Subdivision been annexed into the city prior to development, we would not be experiencing the problems we have today with commercial development immediately abutting residential areas. As a councilman it is my duty to understand the ordinances and CLURO for the City of Mandeville. Many times we do not need new ordinances, the city only needs to enforce the ones on the books. It is important that the city ordinances are easy to understand and enforced across the board. Explore the use of impact and service fees to slow growth and deter high-density zoning.

Biographical Data

Graduate John Curtis High School. Majored in secondary education at LSU for 2.5 years when family responsibilities interrupted his education. Real Estate License, 1977. Coogan & wife Kim (12 years) have 4 children. Resident of District 1 for 9 years. Children attend St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. President of Coogan-Crawford & Associates. Volunteer Coach at Pelican Park. Served 4 years as President of Fountainebleau Property Owners Association. Graduate of Mandeville Police Department's Volunteer in Police. Pontchartrain Elementary Playground Sponsorship Committee Chair (raised over $50K). As a Mandeville Trailhead Foundation board member secured a $20K donation. Chairman, Police Millage Committee. Committee member and sponsorship chair of the Rich Mauti Tennis Classic (raised $40K). Responsible for obtaining an $8K donation for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. I am a 3rd generation "Mandevillian". Graduated from Mandeville High School in 1978. Graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge in 1983 with a B.S. in Business. At LSU I met my wife Pier Faget, we married Dec. 1, 1984. We have three boys: Zachary 14, Chase 11, & Bryce 6. I have been working in the insurance, investments, and employee benefits industry since 1985. I joined Gilsbar, Inc. in 1989. We have lived in Fontainebleau subdivision for the last nine years. I am a Republican. My civic activities include former president of Old Golden Shores Homeowners' Association; former president of Fontainebleau Property Owners Association; former President of Exchange Club; coached soccer for Mandeville Soccer Association for nine years; also served as U-9 & U-10 Boys Age Group Director for MSC; active member of Mary Queen of Peace Church.