Mandeville Municipal Candidates' Forum: March 3, 2004

Mandeville Council District 3 Candidates

Please list three reasons why you are running for this position. My sixteen years' service as Councilman-at-Large, my working knowledge of the City Charter, Code of Ordinances and state law, and my commitment to public service and desire to "give back" to a community that has been so good to me uniquely qualify me to serve as our District III Councilman. I am running because I can provide the strong, knowledgeable, effective representation we need. A.) The passion that compelled my desire to be instrumental in maintaining unique qualities of Mandeville is strong and I have a proven record of effectiveness. B.) I have unfinished business regarding a number of programs, e.g. CLURO changes, measures to secure the City's bayous and wetlands, and a Comprehensive Recreational Plan. C.) I was strongly encouraged by District 3 residents to run as an alternate to expected candidate(s) with personal agendas and narrow special interests.
What are your top three legislative priorities should you be elected to this seat? An Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, requiring that before new developments are approved, there must be a finding that the public facilities necessary to serve them are in place, and, if not, will be brought on line concurrent with the development, with developers paying their portion of the cost. I will also consider a Code of Ethics Ordinance to supplement state law, and park, playground and open space dedication requirements for new developments. A.) Changes to the CLURO, B-3 zoning; stronger protection of bayous and natural drainage areas. B.) Strengthening of the anti-litter ordinances. C.) Comprehensive Recreational Plan.
What changes will you propose to improve the quality of life for the residents of Mandeville? I proposed the Sign Ordinance, the Comprehensive Tree Plan, and the Master Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for Mandeville. I don't think the issue is whether changes are necessary to improve quality of life; what is needed is strict enforcement of our codes to ensure that our quality of life is protected and enhanced and that we don't lose the very attributes that have made Mandeville so attractive for development in the first place. A.) Changes that I envision as part of the Comprehensive Recreational Plan such as more programs to support our growing retirement community and developing special musical programming for adults and children, including recognition of the international cultural importance of the historic Dewdrop Inn. B.) Continue work for changes that will promote balanced growth. C.) Changes that are necessary to respond to new drainage and traffic problems.
How will you unify the different parts of the City of Mandeville? As Councilman-at-Large I represented the city as a whole; as District Councilman I will be attuned to specific needs of our District, to assure that it receives its fair share of capital improvements and services, but not at the expense of the best interests of the community. I have worked with people in all sections, bringing them together in support of programs and projects that made Mandeville a better place for all. The quality of life issues that are priorities among Mandeville's citizens actually unify the various parts of the city. My work in maintaining the natural environmental qualities of the city, e.g. Neighborwoods, tree preservation; in carefully attending growth issues; and promoting Trailhead activities that are available to all serves the interests of every resident. Any improvements or enhancements to any one part of the city benefits the whole.
What steps will you take to increase the amount of green space and parks within the city limits of Mandeville? In 1994, I proposed that 1% of the budget be set aside for open space acquisition. That did not fly then, but I hope for Council support to secure green and open space, tied together by pedestrian and bicycle linkages, with no increase in taxes. In 1999 I proposed that 1/4 cent of a 1 1/2 cent sales tax issue be dedicated to a land conservancy program, but the Mayor and other councilmen opposed this. I will continue to approve the budgetary allocation of funds for the purchase of open space, and as in the past will make proposals for specific land purchases. In addition, I will continue to seek grant monies for land purchases and park development.
What are your plans for further marsh acquisition in Western Mandeville? The 1,200 acres of marsh purchased has the capacity to serve a population several magnitudes greater than now, so no further acquisition is necessary. When the Wetlands Assimilation Program was proposed, the consultant identified only the area immediately south of the Sewer Treatment Plant, which was too small. I proposed opening negotiations to acquire the Dendinger property, which was done after I left the Council. Our sewage treatment plant and the associated marsh acquisition are sufficient to meet the needs of the city's projected growth.
What changes, if any, will you propose to the CLURO? City infrastructure improvements are not sensitive to trees and we are losing canopy. I would require more jacking and boring to protect roots, and make the city follow the same requirements as private owners. The CLURO must be in legal language, which like most laws is not user-friendly. I want to require handouts in user-friendly form, with illustrations and examples, so that people can see what is expected in layman's terms. I will propose changes to B-3 zoning and changes that strengthen the protection of the city's bayous and wetlands. I will support changes to the CLURO that make that document more "user-friendly".

Biographical Information

Resident of District 3 in Mandeville & St. Tammany since 1979. Graduate of Isidore Newman School & Tulane University (B.A.). Married to Sue Breath; 4 grown sons. Vice-President, Union Savings & Loan Association (1973-present). Past president of the Savings & Loan League of Metropolitan New Orleans & director of the Central Appraisal Bureau. Served 4 terms as Councilman-at-Large in Mandeville (1984-2000). Special Assistant, Press Secretary, and Director of Public Relations for the City of New Orleans (64-70). Registered Independent voter; worked in campaigns of Bob Livingston & John Breaux, et al. Volunteer for Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of LA Wildlife Refuges, past president and/or member of St. Tammany Parish Municipal Association, Historical Society, Friends of the Tulane Library, WYES-TV, Life Member of LA Historical Assoc., member of the Nature Conservancy, LA. Urban Forestry Assoc., Bicycle Fed. of America, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and others. Resident of District 3, City of Mandeville for 26 years. B.A., Education, LA. Tech University, Speech Education Certification, Southeastern University. Graduate School in Political Science, Tulane University. Graduate, National Staff Development Council Academy. Married to David Walker. 3 adult children. Charter & organizing member, United Methodist Church of the Servant, Mandeville. Resource Coordinator, St Scholastica Academy, 1992-present. Past Art Director, City of Mandeville, 1991-1998. Co-owner, The Pelican House, Gerard Street, 1983-87. Teacher, Jefferson Parish, 1968-74. Mandeville City Council, 1998-present. Founding Member-Alliance for Good Government, New Orleans. Work in political campaigns: Bobby Jones, Dutch Morial, Lucy Reid Rausch. Board member, Keep Mandeville Beautiful.